Rotary sets North Suffolk barbecue

Published 8:52 pm Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Volunteers cook up a storm at last year’s annual barbecue fundraiser for the Churchland and Portsmouth Rotary clubs. This year’s event is Wednesday on the site of the old Tidewater Community College in North Suffolk.

The Churchland and Portsmouth branches of the Rotary Club are gearing up for their annual fundraising barbecue, at the former Tidewater Community College campus in North Suffolk on Wednesday.

Tickets, costing $30 in advance or $40 at the gate, include unlimited food and drink, as well as entertainment from two popular bands and one accomplished songwriter/guitarist.

“We’ve been doing this for 30 years,” said Howard Matson, Churchland Rotary Club co-chair. “It’s an opportunity for families to get together with friends and for individuals to come out and link up with other folks and have a good, wholesome, clean time.”

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The barbecue is from 3 to 9:30 p.m., and Bill Deal’s Original Rhondels and The Deloreans will alternate to provide entertainment from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Songwriter and guitarist Lewis McGehee will perform from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Proceeds from the event fund various Rotary charitable and educational programs both locally and around the world.

“It’s a fun event, but it’s also a very important event for our fundraising activities,” Portsmouth Rotary Club member Steve Milner said.

“This is our major fundraiser for both clubs, and the proceeds go to everything from college scholarships to contributions to worldwide Rotary activities.”

PolioPlus is one of Rotary’s global initiatives, seeking to eradicate polio around the world.

Locally, proceeds from the barbecue will contribute to Paint Your Heart Out, a project that paints the homes of older folks who are indigent or ill, Milner said.

“I’m sure Churchland has some other activities, and we have some other ones,” he continued.

The barbecue has been held at the site of the old community college, a picturesque setting at the confluence of the James and Nansemond rivers, for years, Milner said.

“We have been going there for years, and we’re very happy to be able to go back” even though the college has moved, he added.

Matson said, “Anybody who wants to buy a ticket is welcome to come. We invite people to come and have a good time.

“They can buy tickets in advance or at the gate, but (at the gate) will cost more.”

Tickets can be purchased online at www.portsmouthvarotary.org. For more information, call 416-2525.