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Mark your calenders for Sunday in the Country

HARLEM VALLEY — The Sunday in the Country Food Drive, a series of fundraisers to provide holiday meals for local families in need, is gearing up for the 2010 season.

Founded by NASCAR Dave MacMillan, a radio personality at WHDD in Sharon, Conn., Sunday in the Country raised $50,000 last year and was able to provide 1,180 complete Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners through 17 food pantries in the Tri-state area.

Following are fundraisers scheduled in the coming months:

On Sunday, Oct. 10, a “Day of Fun” will be hosted all day long by Daisi Hill Farm on Route 61 in the town of  North East. The Sunday in the Country gang will be on hand selling hamburgers, hot dogs and french fries, while the farm will hold free hay rides and pumpkin-throwing contests.

“Hometown Sunday Morning,” MacMillan’s radio show, will be broadcasting live from the event from 9 a.m. to noon. In addition to the food profits, Daisi Hill will donate a percentage of sales from the day to the food drive.

The Sunday in the Country Chicken Cook-Off, one of the longest running fundraising events for the group, will be held this year on Saturday, Oct. 23, at American Legion Post 178 in Millerton.

The Ancramdale Fire Department and the Hillsdale Market will donate chicken, as will  several competing teams, including the Rounders hunting camp and the two Amenia Fire Company teams.

There are still a few spots open for teams; to register, call MacMillan at 914-475-5918. For everyone else, pickup time for meals will be 2 p.m. and tickets are $10 per person.

Finally, the largest fundraiser for the food drive, its annual dinner dance, will be held again this year at the Immaculate Conception Church in Amenia. On Friday, Nov. 12, from 6 to 11 p.m., dinner will be served and people may dance to the sweet sounds of Deejay Joey D, a Sunday in the Country veteran. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by calling Linda Gregory at 845-373-9757.

One Sunday in the Country event has already been held, the David Waldron Memorial Poker Run, which raised $3,527. And there will probably be more to be announced. MacMillan did confirm the return of the popular turkey “flockings,” which could be making their way onto a lawn near you sometime in October.

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