The 57th annual Greek Bake Sale is coming soon and you don’t want to miss a chance to enjoy the delicious meals and desserts prepared for you by The Ladies Philoptochos Society. The bake sale will be on Saturday, November 15, from 8:30 am to 7:30 pm at the Greek Orthodox Church, 435 Keating Drive (off Country Club Rd) in Winston-Salem.
The Ladies Philoptochos Society has a rich history within the local community and on a national level. This is one of the largest ladies’ philanthropic religious organizations in the country. The Greek word Philoptochos means “friends of the poor” and their national mission statement focuses on aiding those in need through fundraising, promoting participation in the Greek Orthodox community, outreach programs and conducting their endeavors with discretion, courtesy and kindness. A full 100% of the profits earned from the bake sale go directly to charities, both local and national. Since the 1930s, the Winston-Salem Ladies Philoptochos Society has given back to the community through food. It has been a means of bonding for the women and a way to help those new to the United States learn English and acclimate to their new country, while preserving the rich heritage of their Greek backgrounds. Approximately 28 charities benefit from the proceeds of this bake sale.
Meet Olga Vlahos who has participated for 55 years in preparing the food for the bake sale. She recalls first working at the bake sale when the church was located downtown. Originally, women of the Society would bake pastries out of their homes and set-up sales tables at shopping centers around town. Olga recalled some of the many families that have been helped over the years by the funds raised through the bake sale, stressing that the help is always discretely given and provided with dignity to the recipients.
Olga started working by preparing pasties and is now the lead for preparing galactobouriko, a custard creation with phyllo and syrup. This is now her specialty. Typically, each dish planned for the sale has one or two leads who direct the preparation for that particular dish. In addition, 20 to 30 other ladies help in preparing the food. For the younger generations or those new to the Greek community, this is one of the best ways to learn how to prepare the dishes. There is a definite art to making Greek food and this hands-on training is the perfect environment to learn. The skills are handed down by generation, ensuring that these talents, as well as the philosophy of sharing and reaching out to the community, continue. Young people (some as young as 12) help out by working the day of the bake sale.
Preparing the food for the sale is no small task – it takes about eight weeks to prepare for the event, with some dishes created the day of the event. The teams gather every Tuesday morning to create the dishes and pastries loved by many over the years.
This year, the bake sale is chaired by Leigh Cortesis and Maria Mathes. The chairpersons, who change every two years, are responsible for organizing the entire event, from ordering the ingredients to the final sale.
For the upcoming sale, there are three (3) meal selections, at least six (6) traditional pastries (such as Baklava and Sweet Bread), 40 to 50 cakes, plus raffles for gift baskets and gift cards to locally owned Greek restaurants. Frozen Spanakopitakia (spinach filled phyllo) and Triopitakia (cheese filled phyllo) are sold by the dozen and would be perfect for your holiday parties. The gift baskets vary. All foods are made from scratch.
For more information, call 336.765.7145 or to place an order, call 336.765.FOOD. Stop by the sale and enjoy the fabulous food prepared for many worthy causes in our community.