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School House Cafe reaches across town lines to benefit Contoocook charity

  • Co-owner Caleen Fisher of Warner serves customers at the School House Cafe in Warner on Saturday, July 14, 2018. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) ELIZABETH FRANTZ—Monitor staff

  • The School House Cafe in Warner as seen on Saturday, July 14, 2018. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) ELIZABETH FRANTZ—Monitor staff

  • Co-owner Caleen Fisher of Warner talks with one of her regular customers, Robert Ward of Contoocook, Saturday afternoon at the School House Cafe in Warner on July 14, 2018. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) ELIZABETH FRANTZ—Monitor staff

  • The School House Cafe in Warner as seen on Saturday, July 14, 2018. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) ELIZABETH FRANTZ—Monitor staff



Monitor staff
Tuesday, July 24, 2018

When Mary Congoran approached the School House Cafe of Warner about possible sponsorship of the Contoocook Carry Community Fund, she was thrilled to be offered significantly more for her out-of-town organization.

“I just think that the School House (Cafe) is such an example of pure giving to the community. She doesn’t care that we’re based out of Contoocook,” Congoran said.

She was talking about cafe’s co-owner Caleen Fisher, who instead of agreeing to a small monetary or in-kind sponsorship donation, offered Contoocook Carry all the proceeds from the cafe’s seventh annual barbecue Thursday, a fundraising dinner the School House has put on since the business’s first anniversary in 2012.

While there’s no way to know how much this year’s fundraiser will bring in, a certificate of appreciation hanging in the cafe’s foyer thanks the business “for their generous donation of $2,306.50 from their annual BBQ on August 6, 2014 to the Pope Memorial SPCA.”

Fisher, of Warner, said framing the anniversary celebrations as a fundraiser to thank customers has always been the intention. “(It’s) a way to thank them for coming in, and we felt instead of us taking money from this, (give) it to somebody that could really use it in celebration of our opening.”

This year, proceeds will be split between Contoocook Carry Community Fund and the Warner Area Food Pantry, at Congoran’s request.

“It was really nice of her to include us in this,” said Erin Reed from the Warner Area Center of the Community Action Program, the agency that runs the food pantry.

Past beneficiaries of the dinner have included the Pope Memorial SPCA, Warner Fire Department and United Church in Warner.

The seventh annual barbecue will take place rain or shine at the School House Cafe on Thursday from 5-6:30 p.m. The staff will work the cafe’s regular breakfast and lunch shift before becoming volunteer servers for the barbecue. The $12.50-per-person buffet dinner will include hamburgers, hot dogs, various side salads, drinks, and chocolate and strawberry trifles for dessert.

(Elizabeth Frantz can be reached at efrantz@cmonitor.com or on Twitter
@lizfrantz.)