Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
A steady crowd enjoys a Chuck Wagon lunch from the Madera County Cattlewomen in 2016.
To fund scholarships for members of the high school class of 2017, the Madera County Cattlewomen will host their annual Chuck Wagon luncheon on Thursday. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Woman’s World building at the Madera Fairgrounds. Tickets are $12, and available from any member.
Attending the luncheon has become something of a spring tradition for employees of many local businesses, with dine-in and take-out options available.
In conjunction with their male counterparts, the Madera County Cattlemen, four $1,000 scholarships were awarded to Madera County high school seniors last year. These are students pursuing an education in agriculture.
The Cattlewomen, also known for many years as the Cowbelles, is a service club the primary objective of which is to promote the California beef industry.
The luncheon menu will include deep pit beef on a roll, chili beans and a wide assortment of homemade salads and desserts. The salads and desserts are made by members of the Cattlewomen.
“Each member brings a large salad and a dessert,” said member Gay Wright, who with Pat Guilleman shares the dessert chairwoman duties. “Many of our members bring several of each,” said Wright. “The ingredients and labor are the members’ individual contributions to the project.”
The association will serve approximately 600 lunches, with Fastway Catering cooking the beef and providing the rolls.
A Cowgirl Kitchen (bake sale), organized by member Dawna Trueblood, will sell cookies, brownies, homemade jams, and various other gift items.
“We have aprons, totes, insulated bags and coffee cups with inscriptions supporting the beef industry,” said Trueblood.
The money from the bake and gift sale will be used to give a $500 scholarship to help a college sophomore with expenses, said Trueblood.
Long time cattlewoman and club treasurer Blanche Campbell has chaired this soiree every year for longer than anyone cares to remember, including her, she said. The event has been held every spring since the 1970s, said Campbell.
In the club’s early years — it was formed on April 2, 1952 — scholarship funds were raised by selling raffle tickets for a donated side of beef. The late Mary McKinney came up with the idea for the Chuck Wagon luncheon.