Money Raised in Social Will Benefit Litchville Grocery

Money raised from Litchville’s Annual Pie and Pickin’ social will be used to help deal with a $5,000 milk bill left unpaid when Litchville Enterprises, which owned the town’s grocery store, closed down, said Arlene Andrus Monday.

To help, the Oct. 13 monthly Valley City Bluegrass Jam has been moved to Litchville, and will take place with the social.

Andrus, who’s leading the effort, was a stockholder and former Litchville Enterprises board member.

The acoustic music event is free and open to the public, and will include homemade food along with the music. “We will serve apple pie, donuts, salsa and chips and coffee, and have a blue grass jam,” Andrus said Monday.

Andrus started making the donuts Monday evening, “and we picked the apples last Saturday. We will make the pies Thursday and Friday night.”
The event will run 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Litchville Community Center.

A free-will offering will go to pay the milk debt owed by the former grocery store. “What we are trying to do is pay off the milk delivery man – Jon Ketterling is owed about $5,000.”

Andrus said she and her husband, John Andrus, have put on the Pie and Pickin’ social in Litchville for the past five years, and decided to dedicate this year’s proceeds to paying off the milk bill.

Litchville Enterprises was owned by stockholders, a large percentage of residents of the city and surrounding area. The town had 172 residents as of the 2010 census, and Litchville Enterprises had 79 stockholders, and was run by a four-member board of directors.

Harold and Leone Fick now operate the General Store, a new grocery store in Litchville which opened after Litchville Enterprises closed, said Mark Hlebechuk, the last president of Litchville Enterprises.

“I shop there, and they seem to be going pretty good,” Hlebechuk said.

Although the Fick store ended up with much of the former store’s remaining inventory, “the new store is a totally different entity, and didn’t pick up our debts,” Andrus said.

Andrus agreed the new store seems to be doing well, and she also shops there. “It is neat and clean, and always has things on the shelves. Quite a few of us (Litchville residents) try and do a lot of shopping there.”

As for repaying Ketterling for the credit he extended, “I promised him I would get it paid, one way or another. If the social works well, it will be less of another. Jon has been really good to us,” Andrus said.

“I’m no longer involved with the store,” Hlebechuk said Monday, adding Andrus is spearheading efforts to try and clear debts of the former business.

“The milk bill is the only bill to pay off – it was always the big one,” Hlebechuk said.

In 2010 Litchville Enterprises successfully navigated its way through a financial crisis. A spaghetti fundraiser allowed the business to raise the $2,020 back taxes bill, and make some serious headway on its milk bill, the last major bill it was behind on.