Most locals know that it’s that time of year when people plan on attending one of the best wildlife dinners in Craig County. On Saturday, March 3, at 5 p.m., the 10th Annual Wildlife Dinner, hosted by Craig Valley Gospel Fellowship, will be in full swing at the beautiful Camp Tuk-A-Way. Gospel Fellowship Pastor Jay Law is expected to be present.
It’s not only a time of eating but raffles and great door prizes – not to mention some great music – is also part of the experience.
The dinner started a decade ago as a fundraiser idea and has escalated each year. “This is our biggest fundraiser we have,” organizer Dana Caldwell said.
“Many men and some women in our church hunt so we decided to take our ‘first fruits’ to have a dinner,” Caldwell said. “Therefore, our menu is mostly all wild game that our members have taken during their hunt. However, we know that some don’t like the game, so we have some different dishes like turkey and ham biscuits.”
The church’s men typically cook the wildlife meats while the women make all of the side dishes. Caldwell added, “And it’s not just one dish as we have a variety of delicious foods.”
The wildlife dinner attracts between 300 to 400 people every year. “We are blessed to have not only our adults work extremely hard to pull this off, but our youth as well,” Caldwell explained. “It’s a true congregation effort to make this happen.”
One citizen mentioned that Caldwell’s mom will be greatly missed this year. “She was one of the backbones of our church,” Caldwell said. “One that would cook not ounces but pounds of food. After having eleven kids, she learned quickly how to do that.”
Items expected to be raffled off include a 308 rifle, a 12-gauge pump shotgun, a 16” Stihl chainsaw, a Wildlife Quilt and a BB gun. Doors prizes, such as Fat’s gift cards and bath items, will also be available.
“It takes months to plan, and God has always blessed our church with this dinner,” Caldwell shared. “God has also blessed us with a wonderful pastor, and we work together so great as a congregation.” Having the support of the community is vital to events such as this.
This is the church’s biggest annual fundraiser, and Caldwell added that all of the money will go directly back into the church to Craig Valley Gospel Fellowship.
Camp Tuk-A-Way is located off Route 621, approximately 14 miles from Route 311 and five miles from Route 460. Doors open at 4 p.m. and dinner will be served at 5 p.m. For more information, contact 540-864-5697. “We hope to see you there,” Dana Caldwell said. “One never knows about the surprises we may have.”