Annual World's Greatest Barbecue benefits Boys & Girls Club

The World's Greatest Barbecue returns this weekend with plenty to eat and tables full of raffle prizes - with proceeds benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Nevada.

The 18th annual auction and barbecue will be from 4-7:30 p.m. Saturday in the Pony Express Pavilion at the east end of Mills Park, and tickets still are available.

The barbecue is the only fundraiser of the year for the Boys & Girls Club, and attendance numbers are critical to the club's financial stability, said Chief Financial Officer Hal Hansen.

"This year we've lost a couple of grants, and people aren't able to give as much with the scare over the economy and the budget," Hansen said. "We've lost $50,000 over last year, and like everyone, we're trying to do more with less. Like many organizations, when times are bad, we're busier than ever."

Music for the evening will be by the Craig Fletcher Band, and food will be provided by Men Wielding Fire Catering.

"And there will be a ton of food," Hansen promised. "We'll have lots of ribs, chicken, pork sandwiches and tri-tip with all the fixings."

Raffle prizes will include trips, dinners, golf and other sports packages.

Hansen has said he is proud of the programs provided by the club.

"We are not a daycare, we don't pretend to be," he said. "We're a youth development program, and most of our focus is on educational support and help with homework, but also on prevention and dealing with the pressures of adolescence."

Among the other offerings provided by the club are sports, computers with filters, arts, and a big craft program, table games, ping pong, foosball and a pool table.

"Parents like that they have a safe place to bring their kids. Safety is number one with us," Hansen said.

Last year, the club served about 375 youths a day, with a total of 2,000 members.

Tickets are $100 per person, and are available at the Boys & Girls Club, 1870 Russell Way, or on its website at or by calling 882-8820.


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