One of the longest fund-raising ventures that the women of Parkview became involved in was serving meals to patrons of the Stratford Shakespearean Festival starting with the opening night of July 13, 1953. Some of the other churches in Stratford took part in this as well since there was a lack of restaurants in the city. People came by special chartered trains into the city. The Toronto Telegram trains arrived every Tuesday, and women served 200 guests once a week for 8 weeks. Special trains from Detroit also booked meals at Parkview and during the season Parkview women served these Americans on two Friday nights a season as well. After the evening performances, many people came to Parkview at 11pm to have coffee and doughtnuts. By 1956 these were served by the men of the church using disposable cups and spoons. It was the women, however, who carried the brunt of the load. 1954 was one of the busiest years of all all, netting a profit of over $5000. The men of the church showed their appreciation to the women for all their hard work that year by inviting the ladies to a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, cooked, served, and even dishes done by the men! This was quite a thing in 1954, a time when most men never entered a kitchen except to eat! That day Parkview men started something that continues to this day – an equal opportunity kitchen.
In 1958, the ladies decided to limit their catering of Festival meals to twice a month. By then there were more restaurants in Stratford equipped to cope with the crowds.
In 1959, one particular evening made the news in Toronto. The Toronto Telegram newspaper ran an editorial on Monday July 13 with the headlines “Thank You Stratford”. It told about the events of the preceding Friday evening, how after more than 70 special trains sponsord by the Telegram to the Festival, one broke down near Guelph. Over 300 patrons moved at a snail’s pace toward their goal, the train running on only one diesel unit. CNR telegraphed the Stratford dispatcher to pass the word to the ladies of Parkview and St. John’s United (who were preparing the pre-theatre meal for the 340 theatre goers at their respective churches) that their patrons would be late, if ever they arrived at all. Just as the train limped into the station and the people were preparing to board the buses that Stratford Coach Lines had sent to help them on their way, the heavens opened in a rain that seemed to be the last straw. The passengers were whisked off to dinner (the paper said that it was excellent), and when the Festival heard about their plight they delayed the curtain call by 13 minutes, the first time in their history that a play started late. The Toronto party saw the whole show and Parkview received some well deserved publicity for their hospitality and food.