Church is ready to roll

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WILTON – Planning for 1,300 lobster roll lunches takes organization. Experience is also a plus.

Carolyn and Tony McLaughlin, once again, were making preparations Thursday for the St. Luke Episcopal Church’s annual lobster roll lunch.

It’s a lunch that is served over two special weekends in the area. First, for Farmington’s Strawberry Festival July 27 and 28, the church will deliver lunches to area businesses and some homes on Friday and then set up at Meetinghouse Park on Saturday.

Once the McLaughlins and their helpers complete those days, the process begins again for Wilton’s Blueberry Festival when they will sell sandwiches on Aug. 3 at the church on High Street as well as deliver around the Wilton, Jay and Livermore Falls area.

For each weekend, a total of 650 lobster rolls with 53 dozen brownies, drinks and chips, are needed, Carolyn McLaughlin said, making the total for both, 1,300 lobster rolls and 106 dozen brownies, with enough drinks and chips for each.

After selling the rolls at Farmington’s Moonlight Madness on Fridays for several years, they were a little hesitant about last year’s switch to the Strawberry Festival on Saturday, Carolyn McLaughlin said. “But sales were beyond our expectations with a sell out of 400 sandwiches on Saturday and over 200 delivered on Friday,” she said.

The brownies and beverages are solicited from the 70-plus active church members. Next Thursday, a crew including some children will gather at the church to fill small brown bags with the non-perishable items for the meal and on Friday to stuff the rolls with three ounces of lobster mixed with mayonnaise and a leaf of lettuce, she said.

Prior to that, Tony McLaughlin will spend a good part of two days leaving fliers at area businesses to announce the lunch deliveries, he said.

The church, previously located on Main Street in Farmington, started a summer shore dinner in the 1960s, Carolyn McLaughlin said. The lobsters and clams were cooked above pits dug at the church, she said.

After a cousin of Tony McLaughlin’s told him how the Methodist Church in Auburn delivered lobster roll lunches as a fundraiser, the McLaughlins suggested that St. Luke’s congregation switch to the rolls rather than the shore dinners.

The church sponsors the lunches as a fundraiser for its general fund with a portion going to community outreach through the Farmington and Wilton food closets and the area’s ecumenical heating fund.

Businesses can order meals by calling 645-2639 and leaving a name and phone number up to Friday morning, Carolyn McLaughlin said. Someone will call back to confirm the order.

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