Hungry at the start of the Fourth of July weekend? The Ribs for Kids racks of ribs are ready for pick up.
Volunteers will distribute pre-ordered ribs and sell racks to the public from 4 to 7 p.m., Friday, June 30, and from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, July 1, at the Grove Public Schools administration building, 310 South Broadway Street, Grove.
The meaty sale is this year’s fundraiser for the Grand Lake Family YMCA's scholarship program.
Mike Johnston, a member of the Grand Lake Family YMCA board of managers, said the money raised will allow individuals and families to participate in programs and membership, who otherwise could not.
Johnston said 540 racks were pre-ordered and about 100 extra will be available for walk-in purchase at $25 per rack.
“Unless [customers] want to pay more,” Johnston said. “We’ll take cash donations.”
Butch Christy, executive director for Grand Lake Family YMCA, said YMCA officials gave 253 scholarships in 2016, amounting to $24,970.
Candy Brasel, chairwoman of the Grand Lake Family YMCA Board of Managers, said organizers hope to raise $37,000 to raise this year, with at least $13,500 coming from the ribs fundraiser.
Despite the gap in funds, Brasel said she was “thrilled” with the fundraiser and the “tremendous turnout” of volunteers.
She said 20 to 30 people helped advertise, sell and prepare the ribs.
Johnston said he had initially expected about 1,000 racks to be pre-ordered, but said he was pleased with the first-year turnout.
“I’m cautiously optimistic that we could grow it,” Johnston said. “But it’s a lot of work just doing 540 [racks].”
Volunteers worked on Monday and Tuesday, June 26 and 27, in the kitchen at Grove Middle School to prep, cook, cool and freeze the ribs.
Brasel said officials with the Grove Public School system helped “immensely” to make the fundraiser a success.
Kathie Hanna, Grove Public Schools food service manager, helped manage the operation in the kitchen. Hanna, whom Brasel described as a “godsend,” said the motto in the kitchen on Monday was “No rib left un-rubbed.”
The racks were cooked in two smokers Dick Seybolt and Jeremy Riggs lent. Seybolt, whom Johnston called the “chief cook,” cooked 120 racks at a time for two-and-a-half hours at 275 degrees.
Brasel said sponsors footed the $5,000 bill of the ribs, bought from Sysco Corporation.
Ribs for Kids was sponsored by Grove Dental Associates, Indigo Sky Casino, INTEGRIS Grove Hospital, Bank of Grove, Grand Savings Bank, Edward Jones-Darrell Mastin, Goodfella’s Pizzeria, Grand Lake Dental, Keller Williams Realty Grand Lake, Patricia Island Country Club, Grand River Abstract and Title Co., CBi Print and Arrowhead Boat Sales.