Group of 24 area congregations offers its 29th annual salad bar to benefit Meals on Wheels.

GLENDALE ? For the 29th year, needy and homebound local residents got some much needed support on Tuesday.

Church Women United, an organization that works to bring churches in the Glendale, Montrose, La Crescenta, La Cañada Flintridge and Burbank areas together, hosted the Meals on Wheels benefit salad bar and luncheon at First United Methodist Church.

Members of the organization and 24 local churches donated salads ? close to 100 kinds ? to the luncheon. They ranged from fruit salads to meat and pasta salads; seemingly, no type of salad was left out. Breads and homemade cakes were also donated. This year was the first in which donations came from local restaurants, including Chevy's and Acapulco.

About 200 people, many from the local churches, attend the event every year, Church Women United president Jean Parks said. Each of them pay $6 for a ticket that allows them dine on examples of the assembled salads. With the money the organization receives from each luncheon ticket and additional donations they collect, the organization raises between $1,500 and $2,500. All proceeds go to the Salvation Army for the Meals on Wheels program, which serves meals to homebound Glendale residents.

"You know every dollar goes to the right place, so it's nice," said event co-chair Karil Drake. "It's such a worthwhile event."

It's worthwhile because it unites groups for those who need their services, said event co-chair Evelyn Horigan.

"I think it's a wonderful chance for many different congregations to get together and help feed hungry people," Horigan said.

Secretary of Church Women United Trudy Kaunhas been helping at the event since it started. She said she likes the event because it serves the community.

"It's done a lot of good over the years," Kaun said. "A lot of people come to the event."

While the luncheon brings in donations for the Salvation Army, the event also serves as an outlet for the members of different local churches to meet.

"It's sort of the social event of the year," Parks said.

Several of the attendees said they liked this event because it brings the churches together.

"All the churches in the event are united and it's very nice to see that," said Marie Urrutia, from Incarnation Catholic Church.

Dawn Carter, from Central Christian Church, agreed, adding that such unity was a joy to witness.

"I like watching everyone from the other churches working together," she said.

Parks likes the diversity of churches that come together.

"In some places, if you were Presbyterian, you would work with the Presbyterian church; if you were Adventist you would go to that church; you wouldn't work together like this," Parks said.

All salads left over from the event will be donated to the Lord's Kitchen program, which feeds the needy in local churches. gnp.meals.1.12-BPhotoInfoF91SR9VD20060712j299pwncDAN WATSON News-Press and Leader

(LA)Attendees of the 29th annual Meals on Wheels benefit serve themselves salads from the buffet lines, then take their places in the banquet hall of the First United Methodist Church, where this year's benefit salad bar was held.

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