Annual barbecue to raise funds for youth center

Thursday, July 22, 2004

By Ben Holman

Nevada Daily Mail

Sunday, Aug.1, is the date set for the 35th annual McGennis Youth Center Barbecue, on the center's grounds near Rich Hill. First conducted in 1969, the event was designed to be an old fashioned, late-summer, country barbecue and to give people in a four-county area an opportunity to view the center.

Through the passing years the barbecue has become a tradition of good eating and family fun, according to event organizers.

In 1980, a crafts auction was added to the event. Over the years the auction has become as much a tradition as the barbecue itself and attracts many donors and bidders.

Neil Steiner of the Flaming Lantern, Butler, will prepare beef and pork, baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw, bread, ice cream, iced tea and lemonade. Musical entertainment will be provided by a local musical group, the Rounders.

A special attraction at this year's event is the presence of an Admiral Hay Press, owned by Gary Nichols of Rich Hill. The Admiral press was a piece of farm machinery used to bail hay during the Depression years.

There will be free swimming from 1 to 6 p.m. and the hay press will be on display at 4 p.m.

The auction, with unique crafts and collectibles, will be a bit different this year. "This year we're doing something new," said Virginia Habjan, McGennis Youth Center Board vice president. "We're going to have a youth auction with things for kids to bid on."

The youth auction will be from 5 until 5:30 p.m., before the meal.

At 5:30 p.m., the serving line will open and the musical entertainment will begin. Anyone wishing to help out is encouraged to bring a cake for the dessert table. Extra cakes will be auctioned off.

The auction will again pick up at 6:30 with many quality craft and antique items.

This event has become a major source of revenue for the Youth Center and all are encouraged to attend. "We really depend on this for the operation of the youth center," said Habjan. Admission to the barbecue is $7 for adults and $3 for those 12 and under. Children under 5 are admitted free with their parents. Tickets for the meal are not required for the auction.

Habjan said, "Bring your lawn chairs," because seating is limited. "We'll be cool even if it's a hot day because we're up on top of a hill and we get a nice breeze."

Another upcoming event for the youth center is the presentation of a play. It is a light-hearted, melodrama type play featuring local actors and actresses. The play will run for three nights, July 12-14.Contact the McGennis Youth Center at (417) 484-3216 for show times and prices.

The McGennis Youth Center is located 5 miles west of Rich Hill on A Highway and four miles south on WW Highway.

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