While Greene County baked through the “dog days” of summer, Shepherd of the Hills Catholic Church celebrated. The Ruckersville church invited the community to enjoy National Hot Dog Month on July 20 and the community joined in the “dog gone” good fun. 

“We had a wonderful time,” said Cooky Bonneville, one of the event organizers. “We reached out to the community and they responded. We had people coming in that said they had read about it in the [Greene County] Record or our signs. Of the hundred or so people, more were non-parishioners than parishioners.”

Bonneville said the event was an outreach to get the community familiar with Shepherd of the Hills Catholic Church.

“We had so many people who said that they didn’t know we were here,” she said. “There were lots of families with kids and the politicians came and were well informed.”

As temperatures soared outside—to a feel-like temperature of more than 100 degrees—participants were invited inside for the air conditioning.

“We sold around 200 hot dogs and had so many of the homemade cookies and brownies that we took donations for them on Sunday,” Bonneville added. “All the donations and money made ($150) went to GRACE.” GRACE (Greene Alliance of Church and Community Efforts, Inc.) is a local non-profit that helps residents with free meals once a week, budgeting and spending programs and other assistance to those in need.

“The sheriff and many other officials showed up to enjoy the day and meet people,” Bonneville said. “We had a lot of children and we kept them cool and happy with films like ‘101 Dalmatians’ and ‘Lady and the Tramp’ to play up the dog theme.”

For adults and kids, a trivia contest sent them to thinking about and learning facts about the food; like the original name for the hot dog was the “hot dachshund sausage.” Tania Seymour won the trivia contest by guessing correctly seven out of 10 trivia questions and an additional question to break a tie. She received a snazzy hot dog maker for her knowledge and good humor.

The event was such a success that the church plans to hold it as an annual community get-together.

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