Church fundraiser serves up traditional Greek fare to go

Nov 21, 2020

It was all Greek to go at St. George’s Greek Orthodox Church on Saturday as the church held a drive-thru food fundraiser in place of its annual Taste of Greece festival.

A stripped-down menu for the occasion featured favorites like gyros, spanakopita, chicken souvlaki, and of course the classic baklava along with almond rolls for dessert.

Festival committee member Connie Lee Bebis said that the drive-thru event at the Cross Road church was “fantastic.”

“It was really nice to see the people’s support,” she said, noting that although smaller than usual, around 200 people still drove through for this year’s event.

“It’s tough times for a lot of people, so we appreciate whatever they can do,” she added. “Every little bit helps.”

Festival committee members kept the number of volunteers to a minimum for safety, with just around five people helping out during each shift.

“We had to really strip it down, to keep it safe,” Bebis noted. 

The afternoon shift included Bebis and her husband George, her sister-in-law Connie O. Bebis, and Paula Martin, whose husband Tony was cooking gyro meat in a Dartmouth t-shirt. 

“This is like Greek meatloaf,” he explained with a grin. “It’s pork and lamb.”

Morning crew included a handful of church elders — “If they don’t have to be here, we try not to have them here,” noted Bebis — and the teenaged Tsonis sisters, who ran the food during the lunchtime rush.

At its height, the line stretched out to the road, said George Bebis, who was calling in names for preorders on a walkie-talkie from the parking lot.

And the customers kept coming. 

“I love the festival — that was nice, with the music and everything. So I’m glad to support it today,” said Dartmouth resident Ann Fox.

“I think we even appreciate it more now that we’ve got so little in our lives,” Fox added. “We appreciate all the good stuff, you know.”

Bill Taylor of Rochester said he’s been coming to the festival for four or five years now. “My wife was in high school with a couple of the gals here,” he said. “And we like the food. It’s great!”

“I’m glad they’re still doing this, because it’s very very difficult for them to do this way,” he added.

Bebis said that they hope to hold two or three more drive-thru takeout events early next year.

“We want to keep people coming back, and keep them fed,” she laughed. “It’s very important.”