Jack Wax party

Jean Reynolds in the mid-1990s in her classic pose, at the stove, where, for about 40 years, she prepared old-fashioned jackwax (boiled-down maple syrup) to be ladled over snow at the annual Thurman Sugar Party, to benefit the American Cancer Society. Reynolds lost her life to cancer last summer, but the Thurman community will carry on the tradition, dedicated to the memory of Jean. THURMAN The annual maple sugar party will be held on Saturday, March 24 at the Thurman town hall beginning at 4 p.m. until everyone has eaten. The meal includes Thurman-grown chewy maple jack wax, or sugar on snow. Entertainment is by Hoddie and Friends. Begun over 40 years ago to raise money for treatment of a local boy suffering from leukemia, the event has seen generations of women standing over the steaming kettle of syrup in the town hall kitchen, stirring and testing until the confection reaches just the right thickness to be ladled over snow for a chewy treat fit for gods. In recent decades the dinner was hosted by Jean Reynolds and her husband, Rex. Jean had taken over leadership upon the retirement of Alice Parker. Alice showed Jean the ropes, and the tradition was continued. When Jean was stricken with incurable cancer herself almost two years ago, it seemed as though the event might be lost, but Helen Baker stepped up to serve. Jean guided her as she took on her first dinner last year, and this year Helen will solo. Members of the community will supply their usual donations of casseroles, salads and breads. Its an all-you-can-eat groaning board that draws guests from miles away year after year. This years dinner has been designated as a memorial to Jean Reynoldsa fitting tribute to a remarkable community servant. Tickets may be purchased at the dinner or bought ahead of time at any of the sugarhouses during the maple tours.

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