Johnny Cox had his first corned beef sandwich five years ago, on the Rodeph Sholom congregation's first Deli Day fundraiser.

His wife, who works at United Community Bank, ordered a sandwich for him along with other employees of the bank. Now, Cox can't wait for the Deli Day event each year.

"You either love them or you don't," Cox said as he climbed the stairs to the Rodeph Sholom temple in downtown Rome on Tuesday.

Ira Levy, who leads the Deli Day fundraiser for the congregation, said volunteers cooked 220 pounds of corned beef, which was put on 60 loaves of rye bread. That was coupled with 20 pounds of coleslaw, 10 gallons of pickles and added to bags with potato chips and homemade cookies for the Deli Day bag lunches.

Robin Gardner reminded folks who walked into the kitchen at the rear of the worship center not to forget their cans of Dr. Brown's Cream Soda. The drink has to be specially ordered by the congregation members each year to be served with the corned beef sandwiches.

"I don't know how that tradition got started," Gardner said. "I think it was up in the old delis of New York."

Most of the bag lunches were ordered by businesses and delivered from the worship center.

Levy said they likely sold up to 500 lunches. Gardner said the congregation hoped to net about $2,000.

Last year's Deli Day proceeds were used to buy a defibrillator for the worship center. The congregation has not decided how proceeds from this year's event will be spent.