Birdwood’s event of the year, Dinner Under the Stars, certainly did not disappoint.
As one entered the paddock and drove down the newly mown strip between the waving grass, one began to feel like Alice in Wonderland.
A spectacular sight opened up before our eyes of a circle of majestic red gums, lit up in the fading sunlight.
In the centre of the trees were round tables and chairs, tastefully covered in white table cloths and encircled by fairy lights.
As we entered through the decorated archway, we were invited to have our photo taken as a memento of how comical we looked in our ball gowns, bow ties and gumboots.
We then fronted the bar to be given a drink of our choice and as we mingled with the other guests, we enjoyed the delicious canapes, which were passed around by the volunteer waiters and waitresses.
The delightful strains of the Baker Boy Band drifted through the night air, adding greatly to the festive atmosphere.
The bar was made free of charge out of recycled pine pallets especially for this and all future such events by Integrity Joinery and Kitchens of Gumeracha.
The band stand trailer was also made free of charge by Rob Fleming of Fleming/Randall Enterprise and will be a boon to all future events held throughout the Christian church’s calendar year.
Special thanks must also go to Mark Wilksch of Wilksch’s Garage in Mount Pleasant, who supplied and supervised most of the lighting and was ably assisted by Lynton Mons with his expertise in sound and powerpoint presentations.
A delicious entrée of grilled asparagus on crispy fried toast with balsamic vinegar or a chicken shashlik were served, followed by a melt in your mouth chicken mignon or a juicy scotch fillet steak accompanied by a generous bowl of mixed salad.
This was all enjoyed, along with a glass of quality local wine, whilst watching a full moon rise above the spectacularly lit massive gum trees.
There was much bobbing up and down to visit the Silent Auction tent, where bids could be placed for such exciting prizes as two night’s accommodation and breakfast at St. Helen’s Cottages in the Clare Valley or a cruise to Kangaroo Island for a family and their car with Sea Link, wines from Peter Seppelt, Barristers Block, Kersbrook Hill, vouchers from Golding Winery, a magnificent basket of fruit from the Green Shed, artisan jewellery from Shannon Cornish of Woodside and many other prizes, too numerous to mention.
It was very reassuring to see the support which was given by so many local businesses.
A DVD was shown which gave a great outline of the value of the work done by pastoral support workers in the 350 public schools in South Australia who are lucky enough to have a PSW.
Steve Mills, who oversees this work in our five local schools on behalf of Schools Ministry Group, spoke to us about the high esteem in which these fantastic people are held in supporting the children, teachers and parents in our schools, especially at times of stress upon the death of a loved one or a local disaster such as a bushfire or the financial stress of the family breadwinner losing one’s job or family illness or breakdown.
The pastoral support workers are trained to know how to seek help in such emergencies and how to support families through the many ups and downs of life.
Teachers value this help so very greatly, as these strains can make their jobs so very difficult at times.
We are so very lucky to have PSWs at all of our local primary schools and the money raised by this and other such events held during the year provides extra money, so that they can attend the schools for longer hours over and above the eight hours per week, which is covered by federal government funding.
Pastor Peter Leith from Salem Baptist Church, who is president of Torrens Valley Inter Church Council then gave a prayer of thanks for the wonder of his magnificent world and thanked all involved in presenting this spectacular event.
There was much huddling around the huge bonfire, which was ably supervised by our fantastic local CFS team and then we headed to the desert tent where a delicious array of mouth-watering deserts awaited our eyes. What a very difficult decision!
These were all supplied free of charge by Footeside Farm Fine Quality Native Foods. What a generous offer!
Whilst some of the oldies departed the scene to the warmth of their beds, others, who were young or young at heart, danced the night away, as the band ramped up the music and created a fun filled atmosphere.
Our congratulations must go to Giggles, (Girls in God Growing Laughing Eating Sharing) who had the faith and energy to mount this spectacular event, ably led by Kathy Schutz and Amy Loechel.
They had already raised the fee for the band before the event even happened.
Don’t miss this event which, God willing, will happen again on the second Saturday in November 2019.
If you put away $1 per week between now and then, you will have enough in your piggy bank to buy a ticket and have enough left over to purchase your ball gown and bow tie from one of our fabulous local opp shops, so get to it.