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Save your appetite for Deli Day, March 14

Giant pieces of cheesecake, huge helpings of gooey chocolate trifles and massive slices of layer cake await guests at Temple Israel's Deli Day 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 14.

For $10, guests get a lunch sack with a kosher corned-beef sandwich, a bag of potato chips, a pickle and a cup of coleslaw. Beverages are also included.

Desserts cost $4 each. For $12, guests can get tickets for four desserts. Definitely a good idea if you're like me and you can't possibly decide between all the tasty treats!

Lunch and dessert tickets are available in advance and at the door. For more info, call Temple Israel at 706-323-1617.

Deli Day takes place at the Temple, 1617 Wildwood Ave. Tables and chairs are set up indoors and outside but it's a good idea to bring your own chair if you arrive a bit late.

"This annual lunch-in is the ecumenical event of the season," said Gail Greenblatt, who handles publicity for the event.

The Deli Day chairwoman is Gloria Cohen, who enters her 15th year in this position. Her co-chairpersons are Jean Kent and Babette Rothschild, who plans to make 28 cheesecakes this year.

Greenblatt said there's no way the women could pull off this event on their own. Every year, people in the community volunteer to help make the sandwiches. More than 2,500 sandwiches will be prepared for this year's Deli Day.

"We have it down to a science now but there's a lot of labor involved. The corned beef comes in bulk and we have to cut it and weigh it," she said. The event has been happening for more than 30 years.

Daniel Appliance lends the group extra refrigerators to make sure food stays fresh. Volunteers arrive at 5 a.m. on Deli Day to start making sandwiches and assembling lunch sacks. They're often still working as guests start arriving at 11 a.m.

Dessert tables also have to be set up and desserts arranged so that guests can easily see all their options.

"We have everything from trifles to truffles," Greenblatt said.

Last year she noticed that the dessert table line was very long and she apologized to guests for the wait but most didn't seem to mind.

"They were happy visiting with each other," she said. "It really is a nice chance to socialize."

She has noticed that some guests get in the dessert line right after picking up their lunch sacks rather than waiting until they've finished their lunch.

Money raised at Deli Day is used for Temple projects and the Wynnton Neighborhood Network. The Temple also supports local charities and initiatives to help soldiers stationed at Fort Benning.

Dawn Minty can be reached at 706-571-8512 and Get recipes and food tips at Dawn's Dish blog at