At Beech Grove United Methodist Church in Driver on Thursday, volunteers Laurie Shultz and Janice Morris decorate eggs destined for distribution far and wide. 2013 marks the 36th consecutive year of the “Easter egg factory.”
At Beech Grove United Methodist Church in Driver on Thursday, volunteers Laurie Shultz and Janice Morris decorate eggs destined for distribution far and wide. 2013 marks the 36th consecutive year of the “Easter egg factory.”

Easter egg effort on a roll

Published 10:44pm Thursday, March 20, 2014

An annual fundraising tradition under way at Beech Grove United Methodist Church in Driver is celebrating Easter by churning out thousands of candied eggs.

The church hall, for the 36th consecutive year, has literally become an Easter egg factory, staffed by numerous church and community volunteers working a day shift and an evening shift.

“There are various approaches to decorating,” Laurie Shultz said, during day shift Thursday.

She was working the decorating table with Janice Morris, both ladies a study in concentration as they squeezed their icing bags above trays of small eggs that will be sold by the dozen, while half-pound and pound eggs, sold singularly, are also being churned out.

“Normally, I would come through and do all my flowers first,” Shultz said, indicating that — in her view — this was a better way to cover the tong holes.
“It depends on who’s doing the icing,” Morris said. “I prefer doing the leaves second because I can use the flower as a bumper.”

Thus do the volunteers at Beech Grove work toward making the process as smooth and precise as possible.

This year, the month of manufacturing started Monday, Morris said. “That’s the most confusing day,” she added. “It’s trial and error on how the icing is going to act and how the dough is going to act.”

The operation continues for a month, Morris said, ending one week before Easter, while for two Saturdays before the factory officially cranked up, boxes were put together and labeled, and the workspace set up.

The process starts in the kitchen with dough-making, then the dough graduates to a table where the eggs are formed, Morris said.

Then it’s to the chocolate-dipping station, the decorating station, which she had briefly vacated to give her tour, and then on to get boxed, she said.

Generally, according to Morris, the process takes a day; but it ultimately depends on the flavor.

“Peanut butter is the top seller,” she said. “Then butter cream, then coconut, and then fruit and nut — in that order.”

In past years, about 7,000 pounds of filling have been turned into eggs, said Les Devers, another volunteer.

“Last year, I think we went through almost 130 bags of sugar at 50 pounds a bag,” he said, adding, “Other than the collection plate, this is our fundraiser.”

Fellowship was the main reason the event has continued to grow, Morris said. “It just slowly blossomed.”

Order forms can be downloaded at www.beechgroveumc.org, or orders can be phoned in at 538-8353.

While most orders are local, some eggs went interstate, including to California, where 72 half-pounders were destined, Morris said.

Shultz said she mailed a batch to her son when he was serving in Afghanistan, adding, “The frosting got a little mooshed-up, but they didn’t go bad or anything.”

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