GREENSBURG — A large number of area residents made Friday’s annual Decatur County United Fund Strawberry Festival fundraiser an astounding success.

Community leaders, social organizations, ladies groups, high school students, and other die-hard strawberry shortcake fans pitched in to make short work of a successful fundraiser that appears to get bigger every year.

“Finding volunteers for this is actually really easy,” United Fund Director Joane Cunningham said about the event. “People just enjoy it because it’s a chance to sit down and gab with friends while they’re doing a good thing. This year, we needed more volunteers because we had quite a few more orders than last year. Every year, the response is awesome!”

Before the event begins, KB Foods donates the berries. They are brought to the Presbyterian Church, where approximately 75 pairs of busy hands de-stem and chop them.

Another crew in the kitchen couples the berries with sugar and assembles the shortcakes before they are shipped across the Square on a souped up golf cart or bagged for pre-order deliverers.

From there, they are delivered throughout Greensburg or rushed to the southeast corner of the Square where they are made available to people waiting in a line of cars that sometimes stretches half a block up Franklin Street.

“Last year, we did right at 1,000 pre-orders, and this year 1,200. It’s wonderful,” Cunningham said.

Ann Westhafer, seated at one of the many strawberry chopping-tables at the church, said, “I have chopped berries for four or five years now, but I worked in the tent for what seems like forever. I like this job much better!”

Volunteer Beth Parkhurst also shared a thought.

“This is my first year, and I think it’s awesome!” she said. “I could do this all day, or at least for the next hour!”

Bonita and Dudley Myers worked at another table busily chopping.

“Dudley and I have a system, he stems them and I chop,” Bonita explained.

“We make a pretty good team,” said her husband, Dudley, as he wielded his trusty Pampered Chef berry stemmer.

Final sales totals were not available at press time.

The Daily News will report them when those figures become available.

Contact Bill Rethlake at 812-663-3111 ext. 7011 or email at

Recommended for you