Enchilada Fundraiser Returns Busier than Ever

3/8/2022

The 23rd annual Cheese Enchilada Take-Out fundraising event occurs every year on Ash Wednesday in the kitchen of the St. Mary’s Parish Center in Farmington, and it gets busier and busier every year. By Donna K. Hewett. This story is sponsored by Pop's Truck and RV and Traegers Bar

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First come, first served. Few annual fundraising events in San Juan County are as delicious as the Red Chile Cheese Enchilada Takeout Fundraiser at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Farmington. Now in its 23rd year, the annual sale is more popular than ever. Some folks standing in line for two hours or more to buy the steaming hot enchiladas. $10 for a dozen. And the finest, the most luscious handmade red chile sauce for just nine bucks a quart. You're watching the Local News Network brought to you by Pop's Truck and RV Center and Traegers. I'm Wendy Graham Settle. The event takes place on Ash Wednesday each year. Doors open at nine in the morning and don't close until 7:00 PM. During that time, nearly a thousand dozen tortillas have been sold. And cooks use 600 pounds of shredded cheese in the process. The sauce is made with New Mexico's famous red chiles.

We get the chiles from hatch. We ended up getting 360 quarts, 360 gallons. I mean, forgive me. We got 360 pounds of chile. And then we figured we may not have enough, so we got 81 more. So it took us two days to do the chile and stuff. But as you can see, they're aware and they know how wonderful it is.

It makes sense to offer the community an uncomplicated but savory, meatless meal that can be widely shared while reflecting Catholic traditions. Benefactors of the event, St. Mary's Youth Group will rake in about $15,000 to fund their mission trip to Guatemala this summer.

Just like to thank everybody for coming and standing in line and being patient with us. And we are just really appreciative to the community.

We're very blessed to have Farmington as our home.

Yes we are. We are indeed. And there's nothing better than having a bunch of kids work together. And when they go to conference, we praise the Lord together, so we're excited.

The assembly line of about 20 people stood side by side in the parish center kitchen, processing the enchiladas like culinary pros. While the red chile simmered, reaching an ideal temperature of 165 degrees, event co-founder Norm Georgina, flash fried the tortillas. We asked if he had ever seen the fundraiser so well attended.

No, no. Never. I mean, we've always done pretty well, but we've never had people out at the parking lot wait. So it's a good feeling.

Everyone working the event seemed to be bursting with enthusiasm, despite the pressure of a couple hundred people waiting tolerantly in line.

We know it's for the kids and the kids help. As you can see, they know it's for them and they just go out of their way to help us. And the people know that it is for the youth. And they're willing to support them and we're just so appreciative of that.

What started out in a small church kitchen is now a huge community event that just keeps getting busier and busier each year. St. Mary's Catholic Church is located at 1200 east 20th in Farmington. Thanks for watching this edition of the Local News Network. I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

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