SFD sets goal of 4K apple butter quarts
he Shepherdstown Volunteer Fire Department held its 20th annual Apple Butter Festival on October 31. Despite the unusually warm day, volunteers stopped by to help stir the blazing kettles. According to Dan Marken, Fire Department Volunteer, there were easily 100 volunteers present between the people working in the kitchen and those stirring the apple butter.
There were 19 kettles lined up in the fire hall that needed to be stirred. Some groups claimed a kettle and took turns stirring. Harry Weller Jr., a Shepherdstown resident, and his father were one such group. ” We have helped out for the past six years,” said Weller Jr. They always come together and enjoy taking turns stirring the apple butter.
“This is my hometown, this is my fire department. If I would like my town not to burn down, it will do good to support the fire department,” said Ron Grubb, Shepherdsotwn resident. Grubb has been a volunteer at the fire department since he was 18.
While many residents stopped by to help, Marken mentioned that there was also a noteable presense from Shepherd University. The Shepherd volleyball team and Alpha Sigma Tau sorority had large groups present to stir.
“We plan to make 4,000 quarts this year. We made 3,800 last year,” said Fire Department Volunteer Judy Pittinger. Although there is more apple butter being made this year, Pittinger predicted that the apple butter would probably be gone by Tuesday.
One resident buying her apple butter joked that last year she was “a day late and a dollar short.” She tried to buy apple butter last year three days after it was made, and it was already gone. “This time next week [the apple butter] will be gone, everything is put away, and plans are being made for next year,” said Marken.
The apple butter dosen’t just stay in the surrounding area. One of the volunteers said he was going to send some to his family in Illinos. While others claimed they were also going to send some to familiy in various other states. “It seems to find its way from coast to coast,” said Marken.
Making the apple butter is the fire department’s main fundrasier. According to Marken, the money made goes into running the department.
“The department thanks the community for its continuous support. The community makes us happen. We are here for them,” said Marken.