by Lisa Tome
Turning a church into a temporary drive thru restaurant takes a lot of planning and preparation.
It also takes strong sets of legs which are willing to run, a devoted kitchen crew, and teens in need of a weekend vacation with fellow Christian youth members.
"We have a lot of good help and we work as a team," said Ruthie Moretz, who coordinated the third annual Roast Beef Dinner drive thru at Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church in Colora last Friday night.
The menu was already planned and carried over from the other successful drive thru dinners - roast beef, mashed potatoes, green beans, gravy, plus a roll and a brownie which were packed in advance.
"We prepared it all here," said Moretz. "On Tuesday we cooked the roast beef to medium rare. On Friday, we finished the cooking."
For weeks prior to the event, church members took pre-orders. On drive thru day, more than 80 dinners had been ordered. Others who missed the deadline but wanted the $10 meal, were accommodated.
The way the process works is that drivers remain in their cars and line up at the church. Teen runners take the meals to the cars. The teens are part of the church youth group. They benefit from the meal because the proceeds will help them pay for a youth conference which will be held in Ocean City in January.
Cody Leonard, 18, was one of the teen food runners. "They drive and and we're pretty quick to get the food out there. But we do get backed up. It's very fun," said Leonard.
Garrett Leonard, 16, said he likes delivering the food.
Emily Bolt, 13, said she knows what it's like to be busy and she thinks people appreciate a homemade drive thru meal. "I'm in a lot of activities. I know what it's like to be busy and on then run," Bolt said.
"We are helping them pay their way so they are a big help with everything," said Moretz. After the youth conference fees are paid, any surplus money from the dinner will go to help with church outreach such as Christmas donations and community holiday needs.
Mount Pleasant pastor Dr. David Burke was helping to pack the meals for the teens to deliver. "I think this is creative and user-friendly. You don't have to get out of your car. This is mainly for our youth to go to the youth rally," said Dr. Burke.