For a cause: Annual FFA Barbecue supports county Ag Education
By Angelina Bellebuono
On Friday morning, rain or shine, Morgan County High School seniors will be parading down College Drive in celebration of Homecoming, 2009.
But behind the scenes, just a few men, a few more students and a whole lot of pork will be working together, so to speak, to feed a hungry crowd prior to the Homecoming game at Bill Corry Stadium.
These efforts aren’t simply to satiate the hungry, however. This annual barbecue benefits the Morgan County High School FFA, and is organized and executed by the FFA Alumni group each year.
This year, treasurer Rhonda Towe reports that the men manning the grill will be cooking more than 900 slices of pork, which, she says will, be marinated in Philip Crowe’s Barbecue prior to its time on the heat. The official menu includes baked beans, slaw, bread and tea, and Towe says, “There will even be a drive-thru, so if you want to pick up a plate, but don’t want to get out of your car, you don’t have to.”
The FFA students will be on hand to take tickets as people pull up, and they’ll just hand the food to the driver, she explains.
“We did this last year, and people just loved it,” Towe says.
But walk-up tickets are limited, with only 60-80 extra plates available on the day of the event. According to Towe, the best way to make sure those craving a taste of barbecue pork shoulder get what they’re after is to purchase tickets ahead of time from Tim Savelle at Morgan County High School (MCHS) or from an FFA member.
Plates are $8 each, and the profits from the event go entirely to support the MCHS FFA program.
Each year, the FFA officer team travels to the annual convention to compete at the national level. This trip, Towe says, is quite pricey for the students, and this fundraiser contributes to defraying those costs.
Gary Towe, an FFA alumni member, will be one of the men handling the grill Friday. His son, Brandon, is currently the vice-president of the Morgan County FFA chapter, and is one of the reasons he has been helping with these barbecues for the last several years. But Gary also pitches in on the effort because he remembers what FFA did for him as a student
“I learned so much from FFA when I was in school. And I enjoyed it,” he says.
The commitment from parents and students required to make the event a success is considerable, but Rhonda Towe believes that the efforts are worth it.
"To see the kids prosper, to be able to go on the trip and to go to state conventions – that's why we do this; it's for the kids," she says.