Church fundraiser to stay out late with students

Ashley Sepanski

Halloween-goers heading downtown this Saturday can grab a snack while helping the hungry at Main Street Auto Center.

Trinity Lutheran Church in Kent will be popping its famous kettle corn in the auto center’s parking lot on the corner of Depeyster and Main Streets from about 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. or later, church member Ted Linden said.

Linden and Steve Webster, church member and Kent State associate professor of sociology, said the goal is to reach out to students and downtown patrons to raise money for the hungry.

All proceeds will be donated to the Akron Food Bank and the voucher program at Trinity Lutheran.

“We sell vouchers at the church that people can use at grocery stores to buy things like bread, milk, eggs,” Linden said. “We wanted to do something specifically to help feed the hungry during the holiday season.”

The church, Linden said, has a core group of about 10 members who go to various events in the Kent area where they pop and sell kettle corn. All profits are donated to the church, given to charities or used for various charity events throughout the year.

Over the summer, the group popped corn at Summer Blast, KSU Aviation Day and Kent Heritage Fest, Linden said.

He said the group buys 50-pound bags of popcorn kernels to keep up with demand and at Heritage Fest, the group sold around 700 bags of kettle corn.

This Saturday will be the first time the group sells popcorn during the downtown Halloween festivities, and they plan to stay as long as possible.

“We’re not sure how long we’ll be there,” Webster said. “It all depends on sales. I doubt we’ll be there after midnight, but we hope to be there until 10 or 11.”

The popcorn is popped fresh, bagged and sold. Different sized popcorn bags can be purchased for $3, $5, and, specially priced for Halloween, $1 bags.

“In the past it’s been great,” Linden said. “Many times we can’t keep up. We’ll start popping at an event and won’t stop until it’s finished.”

Linden said bags of popcorn will stay fresh for about five to six days after purchase.

“Most people say it doesn’t last that long, though, because they eat it,” Linden said. “They say it’s too good.”

Webster said he is looking forward to seeing people in costumes.

“I’m going as Doctor Popcorn,” Webster said. “It’ll be fun to see everyone dress up. I’m not sure if any of the other (church) members are dressing up. I guess it’ll be a surprise.”