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Liberty Fest: Kiwanis Chicken Dinner

Organizers of the Kiwanis Club of Canton's chicken dinner fundraiser said it turned out better than expected.

The Kiwanis Club of Canton's first  at is in the books, and organizers could not be happier with its success.

“We had a really good turnout,” said Mark Ott, president of the Kiwanis Club of Canton, “and I got a lot of good comments about the dinners.”

The meals – served with baked beans, fried potatoes or chips, a roll, brownie and a soda or bottled water – were so popular that the club plans to keep them on the menu for next year in what organizers hope will be an annual event, Ott said. A full dinner cost $10, less if the tickets were purchased in advance.

One change the club will make is getting the word out earlier next year, he said.

All money from the fundraiser will benefit various charities the club supports, including its annual dictionary donation program, which supplies new dictionaries to third-grade classrooms throughout the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools.

“That’s why we spent eight hours cooking chicken,” he said.

Ott said he was very proud of the support the club received from all the event volunteers, including Sonny’s Pit Stop BBQ, which donated the chicken and its cooking expertise.

“In my humble and unenlightened opinion, it was better than (Zhender’s, in Frankenmuth),” said Canton resident Chad Childers.

Ott said more than 30 volunteers turned out for the fundraiser, which was vital to the success of the event, he added.

"They (the dinners) were selling so well, we ran out of potatoes," said volunteer Lorelei Papke, describing the rush of customers at 6 p.m. at club's dinner tent. It forced them to serve only potato chips for about 20 minutes while a new batch of fried potatoes was prepared.

Aside from Sonny's Pit Stop BBQ, food and supplies were donated by , , Aunt Millie's Bakery, Awrey's Bakery and Absopure Water.

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