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SHUMLA eNewsflash
Shumla School

April, 2011

April 29, 2011
As you read in our last eNewsletter, SHUMLA is seeking contributions from eNews readers and members of the community to help with the replacement of our kitchen facilities.  In order to bring the kitchen up to full working order, staff anticipates that we will need about $6,000 dollars to cover purchase and installation of a commercial stove and refrigeration unit.  These items are a priority need for SHUMLA's operations.

"In all we figure we served at least 5,000 meals last year on a stove that was acquired second hand many years ago," said Dr. Carolyn Boyd, SHUMLA's Executive Director.  The stove, an old Vulcan, was purchased by SHUMLA at a Comstock school district auction after having been in service there for 20 – 25 years.  “Prior to that it was used at the Val Verde County jail for approximately 25 years," said SHUMLA staff member Missy Harrington.   "The repairman who was recently contacted said that given the stove’s age, replacement parts are not available and advised us to look for a new stove."

"The main problem is that you can’t predict what won’t work at any particular time and when you’re cooking for a group, that spells disaster. Worrying whether the equipment is going to function is an additional stress that no cook needs to have – especially when you’re 50 miles from the nearest repairman," said Harrington.

As assistant chef for the last two Pecos Experiences at the SHUMLA campus I can vouch for the fact that we need new kitchen equipment.   It is said that an Army moves on its stomach ... and so do archeologists and rock art researchers and especially  kids who come to SHUMLA to learn about lifeways in the Lower Pecos Canyonlands.

Imagine cooking three meals a day for 25 - 40 hungry folks at on an unreliable stove.  We just pray the thing will light and stay lit during our meal preparations!   The earth oven that our primitive technician Nathan Martinez builds in the ground is far more dependable than the stove in the kitchen!

Deb Sontag was known for her delicious cheesecakes
Photo by Bill Sontag

Therefore, I'd like to kick off the fund for the new kitchen equipment with a personal donation of $500.  My donation is in memory of our good friend and Del Rio resident Deb Sontag who recently passed away.  Deb was an absolutely fabulous cook and an avid supporter of SHUMLA.  Her cheesecakes were legendary.   (Deb's  husband, Bill, is a writer in Del Rio, and you will frequently see his byline in our SHUMLA eNewsletter.)

If someone in your life has made you happy by cooking good food for you, perhaps you'd like to donate to the fund for the new stove in their name.   We will recognize everyone who donates in the next issue of the SHUMLA eNewsletter.

For more information on this project or to make a donation,  please e-mail Jeanette Pauer at or call Jeanette at 432-292-4848 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              432-292-4848      end_of_the_skype_highlighting. You can also send a check to SHUMLA, P.O. Box 627, Comstock, Texas 78837 with a note that your donation is for the stove fund. 

Linda Gorski
Chair, Friends of SHUMLA
eNewsletter Editor
Pecos Experience Kitchen hand


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