The 31st annual Winchuck Barbecue and Auction brought everything planners could wished — warm weather, lots of people, and taking in perhaps the largest amount of money ever.
“The turnout was very good, better than we could have hoped for,” said Bill Hauer, event chair. “Unfortunately, the large turnout did cause us to sell out of almost everything from chicken to beans and even beverages.”
Hauer estimates there were between five and 10 people came too late to get a full meal.
The Winchuck Volunteers, the organization that assists the Winchuck Fire Department with raising funds, prepared the same amount of food as last year — enough for 500 people. Last year was the 30th anniversary and they went for a lot of publicity, Hauer said. This year’s barbecue was expected to be more of a “routine” event.
“We were very pleasantly surprised with the large and supportive turnout,” Hauer said.
Along with selling out of food — which was served by the Railriders 4-H Club — and beverage items, the volunteers had more-than-usual donations for its live and silent auctions.
“We will not have final numbers or the financial results for several more days, but I expect net income to be in excess of $6,000, which will be the highest in the past 10 years and perhaps the largest ever,” Hauer said.
The live auction results were in excess of $1,500, the silent auction in excess of $1,000, and pie and dessrt sales in excess of $800, all more than last year.
Local businesses provide nearly all the donation items which make the auction and door prizes possible.
“Without these contributions our event would be much smaller and less successful,” Hauer said.
The resulting funds will allow the Winchuck Volunteers to continue to maintain the facilities, which the group owns and maintains, and to allow it to help the fire department upgrade things such as medical equipment carried on the vehicles for emergency response.
The volunteers will also support upgrades to communication equipment and functionality so important because of the remoteness of the district. According to Hauer, this support will allow the fire department to focus on upgrading its major equipment, such as vehicles, and equip the firefighters with other personal protective equipment and tools.
“The success we have enjoyed in addition to the large turnout is due entirely to our dedicated volunteers,” Hauer said. “The people who prepare and serve the food, Terry Hanscam with the chicken, Bobbie Gross with the pies and other desserts Shaaron Hauer, with the auctions and 20 to 30 other dedicated hard workers including the firemen and the volunteers’ council backing them up.”
Entertainment was provided by Taste o’ Honey and Marshall Thompson.