The Legend of the “Forever Fundraiser”
by: Brenda Stettenbenz
Legend: A story of unknown origin describing plausible but extraordinary past events.
There’s a story, some say it’s a legend, about some people at a little church in Anchorage, maybe in 1969, and maybe even before that (there are records going back to 1969) who got together for a tea, complete with a silver wassail bowl, and raised funds for a local Episcopal institution benefiting children, The Home of the Innocents. The wassail and the silver have been constant through the years, and the desire to support the Home of the Innocents, but the location and timing of the Silver Tea have changed with the times. Originally held in the homes of the participants, the Tea has moved to evenings, afternoons, and is now held after Sunday services at St. Luke’s Church. Other modifications through the years have widened the appeal of the Silver Tea: a children’s table offers cookies and fruit drinks, wine is offered in addition to the wassail bowl, and some years have featured bourbon tastings and other events to interest those in attendance. An auctioned item sometimes adds to the festivities and fundraising.
Through the diligence of patient and faithful volunteers, this tradition has continued and has now been recognized as the longest fundraiser in the history of the Home of the Innocents! For that feat, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church has been recognized as a 2011 Childfriend of the Year Award Recipient. This is an amazing award, presented in the past to such organizations as Ford Motor Company and Kosair Charities and outstanding individuals—and now St. Luke’s Church!
On June 15, 2011, a large delegation from St. Luke’s attended a breakfast at the Home of the Innocents and was invited to the stage and presented with the award by Gordon Brown, CEO (see picture below). Many pictures of the Award Presentation can be seen on St. Luke’s Facebook page as well as below. Father Joe and Calvin Pinney accepted the beautiful award plaque (see picture to the left). The Second Quarter Summer 2011 “Hometown News” Home of the Innocents Newsletter has a large article about St. Luke’s and the Silver Tea and this award.
The Silver Tea is truly a legend: A story of unknown origin, but an extraordinary past and ongoing event. And now, Childfriend of the Year!
For more information on Home of the Innocents - click here