A simple meal — and a slice of pie — can make a difference for hundreds of students in McPherson County.

Elyria Christian School will host its annual chicken noodle dinner fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Feb. 5 at the McPherson 4-H building, 710 W. Woodside St. in McPherson.

The school celebrated it’s 35th anniversary last year, and the chicken noodle dinner has been part of that history since 1993, though the initial menu consisted of ham and beans with cornbread.

Dawn Froese, in the ECS financial office, has been a part of the dinner for years.

“As long as I’ve been here — My son is a junior, so at least that long — it’s been chicken and noodles,” Froese said. “All the volunteers fall in to place, the food just comes, and it sounds silly to say, but the whole thing just lives on by it’s own. It just happens.”

For a free-will donation, visitors will have chicken and noodles, mashed potatoes, cabbage slaw, a dinner roll, beverages and a slice of homemade pie. Carry-out meals are available.

The chicken noodle dinner serves as the school’s main fundraiser in the spring, with a barbecue dinner and bake sale served in the fall.

However, homemade pie is only served during the chicken noodle dinner, so those in search of the treat shouldn’t miss the Feb. 5 meal.

“People in the community look forward to it. In the fall, we do a barbecue dinner and bake sale, and many people will come in and say “Where’s the pie?’ This one is usually has a higher attendance than the barbecue dinner, I don’t know if they like it better, it’s a different time of year or they’re coming for the pie,” Froese laughed.

Elementary school music groups will perform over lunch, and middle and high school music groups will perform from 5 to 6 p.m.

Though many attendees are family of students, the greater McPherson community has supported ECS over the years as well.

“We see a lot of parents and grandparents of students, but a lot of businesses will come and buy lunch for all their employees. The school has been around for a while and some people might have had a connection in the past and still want to support us. I see lots and lots of people we don’t know. We thank the community for their support at these dinners. We appreciate it very much,” Froese said.

For more information, call 620-241-2994 or visit http://ecseagles.us. 

Contact Cheyenne Derksen Schroeder by email at cderksen@mcphersonsentinel.com or follow her on Twitter at @MacSentinel.