DEDHAM, Maine — Wilford “Whoopie” Atwood has been going to hunters breakfasts for as long as he’s been hunting — nearly 65 years.
The 80-year-old Bucksport man, his grandson, Paul Klenowski, 35, and his 10-year-old great-grandson, Hunter Klenowski, stopped Saturday at the hunters breakfast at the Dedham School.
“My brother told me about this one,” Atwood said. “We like to try different ones and if it’s good we come back next time. I think we’ll be back here next year.”
“This one seems to have more variety than some of the other places,” Paul Klenowski, who also lives in Bucksport, observed.
One of things that sets the Dedham School menu apart from its competitors is the cinnamon rolls, the men agreed.
They are made fresh overnight in the school kitchen by Dick Laferce of Bangor and his daughter, Jennifer Callson of Dedham. The team makes 30 dozen rolls and bakes new batches continuously as breakfast is served from 5 to 9 a.m. in the multipurpose room of the prekindergarten-through-eighth-grade school.
The menu also includes scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, baked beans, fried potatoes, orange juice, coffee and milk. About 200 people attend each year while parents, school staff and students volunteer to help cook, serve and clean up, according to the women who head up the committee that planned the event.
Kristi Fowler-Eckmann and Michelle Taylor, both of Dedham, organized this year’s breakfast. It has been a school fundraiser since 1981. Fowler-Eckmann said that she helped out when she was a student.
“The money we raise goes to our Rockin’ Roosevelt program, which is an adventure-based training program for our middle school students, and our eighth-grade graduation activities,” she said. “We try to get as much donated as we can so all the money goes to the program.”
Taylor and Fowler-Eckmann praised local businesses for their donations and support. The women pointed to Greg Hawes, owner of G&M Family Market, located at the corner of Route 1A and Route 46, as an example of the community’s generosity.
Hawes, who stopped in for breakfast before heading to work, was modest about his business’s contribution.
“We just donated some of the food and beverages,” he said. “We support this because they support us. Without them, we wouldn’t exist.”
Like others who planned to go hunting, Atwood and the Klenowski men stopped in before 6:30 a.m. for breakfast. They debated how the last season had gone and ruminated on how things might turn out this year.
“I got an eight-point buck last year,” said Paul Klenowski just before heading back to the chow line for more eggs and bacon.
“He stole it away from me is what he done,” his grandfather said. “If I can keep him out of my deer stand, I’ll do alright this year.”
60 dozen eggs
4 cases bacon
4 cases sausage
2 big bags pancake mix
100 lbs. potatoes
14 gallons orange juice
30 dozen cinnamon rolls
An earlier version of this story contained the incorrect last name for the 80-year-old Bucksport man. He is Wilford “Whoopie” Atwood, not Klenowski.