By Bill Schlichting

Pilot staff writer

The Winchuck Fire Hall has a new roof, new culverts are in place and there are no needed projects, but the Winchuck Volunteers went ahead and had its annual chicken barbecue and auction anyway.

andquot;It's a tradition,andquot; said Tom Taylor, Winchuck Volunteers' treasurer.

The Winchuck Fire Hall, located four miles up Winchuck River Road, is owned by the Winchuck Volunteers and is not just used to house fire trucks.

andquot;It is the focal point of the (Winchuck) community,andquot; Taylor said. The building is used for community meetings and for emergency situations.

In previous years, the Winchuck Volunteers had given scholarships, and now that there are no major projects needed to be done on the grounds, the group hopes to begin giving scholarships again, Taylor said.

To help this happen, the annual chicken barbecue on Sunday afternoon added about $3,900 to the volunteer group's coffers. However, Taylor added, this is before the expenses to put on the barbecue.

Expenses were offset thanks to Ray's Food Place, which sold the chicken to the volunteers at wholesale, Taylor said. The market even quartered the whole chickens, which were larger than in previous years.

Some people mentioned noticing how much better the chicken tasted this year. Taylor said there was no change in how the chicken was prepared. It may be that because they were larger, they took longer to cook, so they got more flavoring from the alder wood smoke, he said.

A total of 120 chickens were purchased, and 350 people were fed. The meal consisted of a quarter of a chicken, coleslaw made on site, baked beans, a roll with butter and lemonade.

Serving the chicken was the Railriders Horse 4-H Club, which received $250 for its efforts.

andquot;Boy were we glad to pay that,andquot; Taylor said.

At the end of the day, leftover chicken was sold for $2 a piece, Taylor said.

For people who wanted something to drink other than lemonade, people could buy beer, wine, soda and bottled water.

As usual, the Winchuck Volunteers also offered homemade desserts. One of the more popular desserts was made from Asian pears, which ripened in time for the annual event, Taylor said.

While dining, entertainment was provided by Saun and Steve and Timbre (Mike Quale and Kim Banfield).

Festivities ended with an auction. Volunteer Bill Hauer solicited auction items from local businesses. Capping the auction was a quilt made by a Winchuck River resident. She requested a minimum bid of $50. Taylor said it went for triple that amount.

Taylor said the sale of the quilt was reminiscent of when the auction consisted mainly of arts and crafts made by residents of the valley.