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Barbecue dinner proceeds to provide Christmas gifts for local children

Holly Viers • Dec 5, 2019 at 7:00 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — In 2008, Homer Hooker got the idea to hold a barbecue benefit dinner for needy children in the Tri-Cities.

Today, the event is still going strong. Howie Reynolds and his family joined the effort when it first began, and Hunger First began partnering five years ago. This year’s dinner will be held Saturday, and all proceeds will provide clothes and toys to local children this Christmas.

“It’s a good meal,” Reynolds said. “It’s all home-cooked; we prepare it all ourselves. It’s a fun event, and all the money stays in the community.”

When and where

The event will be held Saturday, Dec. 7, from 5-10 p.m. at the Outdoorsmen, located at 4535 Highway 11-W.

What to expect

The barbecue dinner will be served beginning at 5 p.m., and Mark Larkins will provide live entertainment starting at 7, Reynolds said. A silent auction will also be held, and there will be a raffle for a 55-inch television.

“You don’t have to buy tickets,” Reynolds said. “It’s just donations.”

Several sponsors have come together to make the event possible, including Giuseppe’s, European Auto Sports, Bigfoot Enterprises, Exalt Academy of Cosmetology, Southeast Moving and Fuller Paving Maintenance. The Outdoorsmen will provide use of its facility at no cost.

“They give us the money to supply everything (for the event),” Reynolds said, “and the money that’s left over from that, it also goes to the kids.”

Proceeds

Since it began in 2008, the event has raised $130,000 for children in the Tri-Cities, Reynolds said. Last year alone, more than 100 children were impacted.

“We try to stay as anonymous as possible,” Reynolds said. “They all get a new outfit, new shoes, a new coat and a few toys.”