A fundraiser with flavor

Seven thousand vareneki, or as we call them, pierogies, will fill the hungry mouths of those looking to get a taste of Russia in upcoming weeks.

As part of an annual fundraiser to generate money to pay for the mortgage, the Nativity of the Mother of God Russian Orthodox Church will be holding its Taste of Russia event on Saturday, Nov. 22, from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Parish member Nadja Jernakoff said this will be the church's third event at which the sisterhood sells homemade Russian food and pieces of art at the church hall.

So the mortgage is rather high, and we need to pay it every single month, Jernakoff said. "The money goes toward that, and it is basically run by the sisterhood and they've been working very hard toward making this a success."

While the fundraiser is meant to bring in money to the church, Jernakoff said families who come and experience the event have the option not only of purchasing the food, but of sitting and enjoying it with one another as well.

"We used to have craft fairs, but there's so many of those. We thought after a while that maybe we need to think of something else," said Jernakoff.

So, parish members got together and looked at fundraising programs offered by other local churches and decided on Taste of Russia, a program that would allow them to reach out to members of the community in one of the most effective ways possible " through their bellies.

Sisters of the parish began cooking for the nearly five-hour event as early as September, according to Margo Beighey, treasurer of the church and one of the primary cooks of the event. The main entrees that will be served include vareneki, kotlety, which is similar to the American hamburger with a mushroom gravy, and stuffed cabbage. Also there will be borscht, served hot at the event, or sold by the quart to take home.

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