LEWISBURG — Members of Chef’s Silver and Gold Association, a club with close ties to Chef Boyardee, will soon make their final visits to local nursing homes.
Amy Mull, secretary, said from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, members of the group will distribute Christmas cheer and stuffed animals one more time to the five facilities. Stops will include two sections of Buffalo Valley Lutheran Village, RiverWoods Senior Living community, Kramm’s in Milton and Watsontown Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
Mull said employees in the club covered virtually all areas of operations, with some still employed in the Milton Plant. Spouses were also encouraged to join even of they were not employees. Chef’s members met once per month except for July and August as well as holding four membership meetings.
Mull said they have been struggling for the last two years.
“We tried to keep it going,” Mull said. “We just can’t get any new members. We opened it up to ‘social members’ and we still can’t make a go of it. And our older people are dying off.”
Tim Hawley, who did government compliance, shipping and operating until 2003. He joined the club after his retirement and has enjoyed it since.
Ken Fisher, Chef’s president, similarly enjoyed time with the club. Retired since 2010, his 40 years of experience included labeling and shipping of Chef Boyardee product.
Fisher added he was a charter member of the club having been in it since its founding in 1994. He said he’d miss a lot of people from his time on the job and in the club.
Richard Erdley, also a club member, was a 50-year employee in shipping and receiving most of the time.
At Christmas, the group was best known for dressing in festive gear including at least one “Mr. and Mrs. Claus.” One member dressed as an Easter bunny each spring, while the rest wore bunny ears as they distributed stuffed animals.
Club activities also included helping with the bloodmobile and attending Milton Harvest Festival parade as well as the Union County Veteran’s 4th of July Parade.
The club was first known as the Chef Boy-ar-dee Senior and Retired Employees Association, but the name was changed in 1995. Club members said then-owner American Home Products would not allow use of their registered trademark name. Social members were permitted since 2012, but did not vote or hold any office.