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Emmanuel Congregational Church holding chicken and biscuits fundraising dinner

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MASSENA - Warm up from the winter this Saturday with a hot chicken and biscuit dinner that will support Emmanuel Congregational Church in Massena.

The fundraising dinner, which also includes a variety of pie options for dessert, runs from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at the church, West Orvis Street, Massena, and costs $8 per person or $4 for children 12 and under. Take-outs will be available.

The Rev. Judith A. Van Kennen, pastor of Emmanuel Congregational Church, said that, although they hold regular community meals at the church they rarely hold fundraising dinners like the one Saturday.

“Once in a while we do something. We have a team that raises money for Relay for Life. That’s usually a spaghetti dinner. We’ve done an Election Day dinner the past. It’s usually once or twice a year,” she said.

The idea for the chicken and biscuit dinner came from a member of the congregation, she said.

“We have a lady in the congregation who’s an excellent cook. She came up to me one day and asked, ‘Can we do a chicken and biscuit dinner for a church fundraiser?’” the Rev. Mrs. Van Kennen said.

Money raised will help support the church’s budget, she said.

“This fundraiser is probably just going to go into the budget. If we have budgetary needs, we’ll use it for that,” she said.

One of their current efforts is the “Safe and Sound,” campaign which will address hearing assistance and security at the church, according to the Rev. Mrs. Van Kennen.

“That campaign is going to be used to purchase transmitters for hearing impaired people,” she said.

She said one of the challenges for those with hearing impairments is being able to separate out and clearly hear speech over other kinds of ambient room sounds or background noise. That sometimes makes it almost impossible for someone with a hearing impairment to understand what is being said, she said.

The hearing assistance system, which they anticipate will cost approximately $1,000, will be incorporated with the church’s current sound system to allow individuals to use a small wireless receiver with ear buds or headphones that will only pick up what is coming through the microphones.

That, the Rev. Mrs. Van Kennen said, will allow them to clearly hear her, the scripture readings, the choir or anything else that is put through the sound system.

“It works in conjunction with the sound system,” she said.

They would also like to invest in surveillance cameras for the church entrances “to make it a safer place for adults and for children,” she said.

She said the system, which they anticipate will cost at least $1,500, would allow them to monitor the downstairs while they are upstairs and vice versa. It would also allow them, should the need arise, to capture video when the church is unattended.

Anyone who wants to contribute to the Safe and Sound campaign can mail a check with “Safe and Sound” in the memo line to Emmanuel Congregational Church, 39 West Orvis St., Massena, NY 13662, or donate using a credit or debit card via PayPal.

In addition to the Safe and Sound campaign, the Rev. Mrs. Van Kennen said they also need to address the building across from the parking lot, which they rent to Head Start.

“Some of (the money raised) will be used for a heating upgrade at Head Start,” she said.

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