McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

April 3, 2013

Hundreds attend annual luncheon

By Jeanne LeFlore
Staff Writer

McALESTER — A lunchtime blessing.

Hundreds of ladies from the McAlester area gathered at the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple for the 41st Annual Women’s Holy Week Salad Luncheon on Thursday.

The annual event brings ladies from near and far to gather for the salad potluck and a spirit lifting musical event. The women sat at long rows of tables decorated with wooden crosses and dined on several different salads all brought as in years past, by  women who don’t work out of the home.

Lyn Sneed said this was her first time at the event although she was born and raised in McAlester.

“I’ve always planned to come but just never could make it, I am just so impressed,” Sneed said.

Sneed brought along her daughter Terri Scaff, also of McAlester. “It’s wonderful,” Scaff said.

Both mother and daughter said they planned to join the free tour of the building that was offered after the luncheon.

Lois Strickland of Savanna was also at the luncheon. “I have been coming for several years, I don’t know how many exactly. I know I always enjoy it.”

“Lets get the party started,” said Glenette  Russell mistress of ceremonies as she opened the luncheon event.

After an opening prayer led by Peggy Grippando, Russell introduced Kaye Edwards Shields, of Shawnee a master musician who was born and raised in McAlester.

 Shields  performed a collection of hymns illustrating the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Singing and playing the piano Shields began her performance with “Listen to the Hammer Ring,”  and finished with “We Shall Behold Him.”

The audience gave Shields a standing ovation when she was finished and she gave the audience an encore performance of “The Lords Prayer.”

The event was closed with a prayer from Grippando.

Organizers from six area churches including  First Baptist Church , First United Methodist Church, St. Johns Catholic Church, First Presbyterian Church and All Saints Episcopal Church have gathered yearly for 41 years to plan the annual event.

Contact Jeanne LeFlore at