It may not be “the wiener the world awaited,” as Kahn’s old advertising slogan boasted, but more than 100 kids a week have converged on the Peace Lutheran Church on Harry Sauner Road in Hillsboro for its Weeny Wednesday hot dog lunch since the last day of school.
John Knoechelman, who claims Peebles as his hometown but Peace Lutheran as his home church, told The Times-Gazette he has been a part of the weekly hot dog lunch program since its inception 12 years ago.
“The theatre next door started having a free movie on Wednesday morning,” he said. “So we decided to start giving out free hot dogs after the movie and the whole thing just kind of evolved.”
The free movie is shown each Wednesday at Star Cinemas when school is out starting at 10 a.m.
John Knoechelman’s wife, Donna, who said this year she is the program’s “Weeny Woman,” said that the church serves more than 1,000 hot dog lunches each summer, which consist of a hot dog, a bag of chips, a popsickle and Kool-Aid.
She said a typical Wednesday sees about 120 hot dogs served to people of all ages. And on a hot summer day, the church is open for those wish to come in, sit down, cool off and enjoy their lunch — and some ask for prayer to help them get through some of the rough roads of life.
Peace Lutheran’s Weeny Wednesday was the brainchild of fellow member Jeff Boester, who Donna Knoechelman said had been president of the church’s governing council and was one of those people in the church “that just gets things done.”
In addition to the hot dog lunch, the church is having a quilt raffle, with tickets $2 each or six for $10.
The quilt was made by Penny Tapp and quilted by Judith Mack. It will be raffled off during the last Weeny Wednesday on Aug. 7, the week before Hillsboro City Schools reopen on Aug. 14.
Peace Lutheran Church is easy to find, according to John Knoechelman, who said “we’re the only church on Harry Sauner Road, unless you count those folks who religiously go to Walmart on a Sunday morning.”
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.