One of the most important things we can do as American citizens is exercise our right to vote.

Thankfully, Lake Winola United Methodist Church, 326 Maple Drive, took care of dinner on the big day, and hosted its annual Election Day dinner yesterday, until the dinners sold out. Although it was a drive-through event this year, guests still found the usual favorites, including the fundraiser’s biggest hit, Arlene Fritsch’s Macaroni and Cheese. The comfort food is so good that it earned the Wyoming County church a $50 gift card to Riccardo’s Market, 1219 Wheeler Ave., Dunmore.

Fritsch, the event chairwoman, got the recipe more than 20 years ago from the back of the Mueller’s Enriched Macaroni box. She’s tweaked and perfected the recipe over the years, including using cooper cheese instead of cheddar and swapping in skim milk for whole milk to better suit her husband, who has diabetes. The dish has always been a crowd-pleaser.

“I always tell people it’s really nothing special. It’s just mac and cheese,” Fritsch said. “But they really seem to love it.”

Besides changing up the ingredients to suit individual preferences, Fritsch said cooks also can add more dry mustard to give the dish a little more bite. Fritsch also said she gets the best results from Mueller’s macaroni.

“Mueller’s is the best macaroni, especially for a recipe like this, because it stays nice and firm,” she said. “It doesn’t get all gooey and mushy.”

In addition to Macaroni and Cheese, dinner guests also received stewed tomatoes, mixed vegetables, a roll (donated by Texas Roadhouse in Dickson City) and a slice of homemade apple pie.

The dinner has been a tradition of the United Methodist Women group at the church since the 1950s, Fritsch said. The funds raised will benefit church projects, including the food pantry, which is needed more than ever now because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Thankfully, Fritsch said, the church has a great group of volunteers always willing to help, including Sue Thompson, the UMW president, who has chaired the event in the past; Diane Cosner, a UMW member and faithful volunteer, and UMW member Vida Trivelpiece, who is now retired but still lends a hand at the dinner. Church members donate to projects all year long, including with other community organizations, and to Methodist causes outside the area. The church also holds virtual weekly services that begin at 9:15 a.m. on Sundays and can be found by visiting Lake Winola United Methodist Church on Facebook.

No matter what obstacles, parishioners find ways to stay involved, Fritsch said.

“We’re so very fortunate to have such an active and helpful church,” she added.

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