St. Patrick's Georgetown new handicap lift

Jim Conley and Joe Sinclair stand with the new handicap lift at St. Patrick’s Church in Georgetown.

In the 1860s Irish immigrants designed and built the historic limestone church of St. Patrick’s Church of Georgetown. With brown sandstone mined from a quarry a few miles east of the church building, it was built to resemble the church buildings that were left behind in Ireland. The imposing façade of the south side has welcomed travelers with three arched doorways for more than one and a half centuries.

Over the years there have been relatively few modifications to the architecture of the structure. Some remodeling and basic renovations were done over the 160-year time span the church has been standing, but the exterior of the building remains the same as when the immigrants built it. Some time during a renovation of the interior, the two side doors and entryways were blocked to make storage rooms.

Fast forward to 2020---to the discussion by parishioners that the church should be made handicapped accessible. Joe Sinclair spearheaded the project and contacted Jim Conley Jr. and Steve Zaputil to toss around ideas. The solution seemed to be a handicapped lift that could be installed in the east storage room area with entryway through one of the blocked doors.

Now worshippers may again enter through the southeast door, and if they need the assistance, the church is now handicapped accessible. The new lift was installed by Conley who has Tyrone/Georgetown roots. It has a lift capacity of 750 pounds and can comfortably transport a wheelchair and an assistant up the 46 inches from the ground to the floor. The steps, which were uncovered during the process, on either side of the lift can now be used as well.

Labor Day celebration

Visitors to the God’s Portion Event this coming weekend will be able to view the new addition and see the uncovered original steps.

Parishioners are looking at the challenges of the annual event this year, but careful planning and adjusting of some of the events will welcome guests to Georgetown.

God’s Portion weekend begins with the Georgetown Open Saturday, Sept. 5, at Albia Golf. Paige Bradley is organizing the tournament and there is still time to sign up by calling her at (641) 777-9687. Individual cost is $35 with team cost $140. Hole sponsorships can be dedicated for $30.

The chicken frying crew will be social distancing frying chicken starting at 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning. From that point on, all activities will be outdoors. Bring your lawn chairs. Mass will be held in front of the church building at 10:30 a.m. Picnic Pick-up meal featuring Georgetown’s famous fried chicken and roast beef with all the trimmings, will be available from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tents with tables will lend to outdoor picnic style eating. At 1 p.m. the auctioneers begin their calling for the outdoor live auction on the south grounds. The Sno Biz truck will be onsite for a cool treat. There will also be a souvenir stand featuring Georgetown “God’s Country” shirts, and a country store will be on the grounds as well. At 2 p.m. the social begins as the auction continues with grilled pork loins, brats, and hot dogs.

At press time, some items up for auction include:

• A Richard Dutton watercolor painting of St. Patrick’s donated by Matt and Jane West.

• A frosted morning picture of the Georgetown Church taken by Meggan Wegger and framed by White Oak Gallery.

• A kneeler from the former convent unearthed during the lift project.

• Several items by Deb Zaputil Designs: a patio cooler, solar outdoor post light, two items made with old tin ceiling panels, and a creative “snowette.”

• An Irish decorated walking stick donated by Jim and Kathy Carr.

• An etched/engraved wooden plaque of the Georgetown Church donated by Down Home Creations and The Other Half Engravings.

• Christmas Quilt and Autumn Quilt donated by Sharon Crall.

• Shamrock Garden Bench donated by John Pasut.

• Green old-fashioned water pump donated by Mike Pasut.

Many more items will be coming in during the week.

If you cannot attend the auction but see/hear about something you wish to bid on, contact either Joe Crall (641) 931-0123, or Joe Sinclair (641) 777-4818.

The day concludes with the raffle drawing. Prizes this year are accommodations for up to six persons at choice of Branson, Las Vegas, or Orlando destinations for one week, $1,000 donated by Quality Ag, $100 certificate donated by Jim & Charlie’s, $100 certificate donated by Albia Hy-Vee, $100 cash, $100 cash, and $50 Casey’s gift card. Tickets are $2 each or a book of tickets for $20 and can be purchased from any parishioner or at the event Sunday. You need not be present to win.

Prayers are being said for good weather to carry out the plans.

Masks and social distancing between families please for safety, but plan to enjoy God’s Portion Weekend 2020.

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