St. Patty's Day Dinner held to fund Fifth Quarter program
TOWANDA — The annual St. Patty’s Dinner was held Sunday evening at Towanda’s First Presbyterian Church to raise funds for the Fifth Quarter program.
Dozens of attendees enjoyed the typical St. Patrick’s Day fixings — complete with corned beef, cabbage, potato soup, vegetables and dessert.
The dinner is held to raise funds for the fifth quarter program, which is held following each of Towanda’s football games.
The program attracts students between seventh and 12th grades to the Towanda High School’s old gymnasium.
“We just provide a fun atmosphere for them with free food and music,” said Rachel Stahle, pastor of Towanda’s First Presbyterian Church. “So they can have a good time after the games and not walk around town and get into trouble.”
The funds raised from Sunday’s event go toward the cost of food and other expenses to allow the church to continue to offer the free-of-charge program.
Craig Wollenberg began the program approximately six years ago. He stated that a church in Honesdale, which is apart of Towanda’s First Presbyterian Church presbytery, had started a similar program and he thought, “lets try it here.”
He said that that the Fifth Quarter program draws in crowds of typically 50-to-60 students and sometimes, the attendance is even higher.
It is held in the old gymnasium of the high school, which allows the attendees to play basketball, football and volleyball, as well as enjoy the food, music and company of their peers.
“It’s been a great place for kids to come to and it seems that the kids like it and appreciate it.” stated Wollenberg. “We just want to keep doing it.”
When speaking about their experiences at the Fifth Quarter, one teen at Sunday’s event flashed a big smile.
“There you go,” remarked Bill Klees, pastor of the Community Alliance Church about the attendees experience.
Klees, Wollenberg and Stahle all related that the attendees of the fifth quarter enjoy the program and routinely express their gratitude to the hosts prior to leaving.
The program was begun by Towanda’s First Presbyterian Church, but Klees added, “We (the Community Alliance Church) support them because it’s a really good idea.”
“We are really grateful that the high school allows us to have it there and they don’t charge us to have it there,” added Stahle.
Nathan Brown can be reached at (570) 265-2151 ext. 1639 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.