Groups that want to raise money for community projects have long learned to sell one thing in the summer -- meat.
The East Dundee firefighters' association and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2298, in West Dundee, have been putting those two ingredients, meat and summer, together to make money for projects they want to pay for the rest of the year.
Burgers, bratwurst, steaks and pork chops will, hopefully, bring in enough money for East Dundee firefighters to buy Christmas gifts for needy families this year. They will have their annual summer meat raffle on Saturday, July 22, at Bandito Barney's Beach Club on North River Street. During it, they will sell $1 and $2 tickets, spin a wheel, and give people who hold the winning numbers enough meat to keep their barbecue grills hot until Labor Day.
The raffle will start at 3 p.m.
"Our summer meat raffle is one of our biggest fundraisers," said Firefighter Joseph Saenz. "We do a couple of them every year in the spring and in summer. We could have as many as 60 people attend and raise between $3,000 and $5,000."
On Aug. 12, VFW members will have a pig roast, another opportunity to raise money for a new roof over the First Street post.
"The pig roast is our biggest fundraiser this year," said organizer Barb Izbicki. "We have been having them for seven years, and they have always been well attended. We make sure we hold it before kids go back to school."
With luck, enough hungry people will attend, and post members will raise $8,000-$10,000 to replace the leaky roof.
The roast will run from 2-10 p.m. While people are eating freshly barbecued pork, they will have a chance to buy tickets for raffles, she said. That and the aroma of pork cooking on a grill will entice many people to bring their appetites and wallets with them, she said.
More than a dozen years ago, East Dundee firefighters did not know how lucrative summer meat sales could be for their association. They depended on their turkey raffle in November to raise money.
They stopped having the Thanksgiving-time meat sales for extra funds, which usually paid for protective clothing and equipment for the fire protection district.
The East Dundee Firefighter's Association is separate from the fire protection district, which collects property taxes. The association does not have the authority to collect taxes.
The West Dundee VFW Post also does not have the authority to collect property taxes. This year, its members are remodeling the post home through the generosity of donations and volunteers.
For details about East Dundee's meat raffle, call (847) 426-7521.
For information about the pig roast, call the VFW Post at (847) 428-9006.