(Photo: Kip Roozen)
The iconic Oscar Mayer Wienermobile recently made a stop at a South Dakota church and took part in a local charity supported by the congregation.
Asbury United Methodist Church of Sioux Falls got to have the Wienermobile parked in its lot, with the church's Mission Committee grilling hot dogs and serving "Tropical Sno" shaved ice. Kip Roozen, pastor at Asbury UMC, told The Christian Post that the Wienermobile visit on Sunday was "an awesome, fun experience."
"It really felt like a community event rather than a 'church' event. There were people of all ages – children, youth, young couples, families, middle aged, elderly," said Roozen.
"It had a light-hearted, fun 'feel' with a casual mix of people. People loved getting their picture taken by the Wienermobile and go[ing] into the vehicle."
According to Roozen, the purpose of the Wienermobile being present was in regards to an anti-poverty charity Asbury UMC was supporting called "Lunch is Served."
"Lunch is Served" is a program based in the Sioux Falls area whose goal is to provide sack lunches for working individuals who are in poverty.
"'Lunch Is Served' believes the brown bag lunches that are packed and distributed contain not only nutrition, but a sign of support and encouragement from the community. Many of the persons served work temporary jobs and live day-to-day," reads a description of the charity on the Asbury UMC Facebook event.
"Having a lunch on a daily basis is often not an option. Employers state that having a lunch helps workers stay awake, focus better and in general makes them more productive."
In 2010, "Lunch Is Served" provided 16,388 meals to lower class workers in Sioux Falls and in 2011 the number of prepared lunches increased to 19,002. By 2012, volunteers prepared 21,286 lunches.
For Sunday, Asbury UMC intended to serve 500 hot dogs at the event and raise $1,000 for "Lunch is Served." Instead, they ended up serving as many as 600 hot dogs and raised around $2,000.
"I would love to invite the Wienermobile back to Asbury in the future. Nothing is scheduled, but it was such a positive event," said Roozen.
"The Wienermobile was almost like an invitation to drop in – a non-threatening invitation to stop. One middle aged man with his son told me, 'This is great! What a great community event! Thank you!' He stressed the word 'community.'"
Complete with its usual accompaniment of "hotdoggers," the Wienermobile docked at the Asbury UMC lot from 8:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. During that time, Asbury held its usual worship services, with members expected to wear red in honor of Pentecost Sunday.