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The Community House to hold BBQ Dinner
April 11, 2018

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A handful of times a year, The Community House on Sanibel hosts an affordable feast for all.

On April 14, the venue will host a BBQ Dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. for the community and visitors to enjoy. Resident Chef Jarred Harris will cook up slow-roasted chicken, fall-off-the-bones baby back ribs and authentic pulled pork using the on-site smoker, with a locally-sourced, special barbecue sauce.

"It's absolutely, excellent fresh food prepared on-site that day," Marge Meek, a volunteer with The Community House's kitchen committee, said. "You're going to get a sampling of all of those."

Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children ages 10 and under.

"They can get them at the door, but we're limiting it to 300," she said, adding that those interested should get their tickets as quickly as possible and not wait. "I know they've been selling well."

The menu also includes black beans and rice, macaroni and cheese, and corn on the cob.

Attendees will have the option to pick two sides to go with their helping of meat.

"Last year we had a barbecue dinner and it oversold," Meek said.

"This year, we've changed the menu a little bit," she added.

Meek explained that people only got one meat choice last year, not a taste of everything.

"Now they can try some different flavors," she said. "And they get to taste our original recipe barbecue sauce."

Meek noted that the sauce will be available for sale.

For those with a sweet tooth, there is a pick of old-fashioned desserts for only $5.

"Our Young Chefs that we teach every month, they're going to be serving the dessert," she said.

With the help of Harris, the future-chefs-in-training will whip up for attendees a choice of strawberry shortcake with whipped cream, brownie sundae or an old-fashioned root beer float.

"I think people like it when we get them involved," Meek said.

Last year, close to 300 attended the dinner.

"We hadn't planned on anywhere near that," she said. "We're making more food this year."

There will also be a raffle for attendees to take part in.

"We'll be giving away dining certificates from some of our local restaurants and baskets with some of our foods that we make, like the barbecue sauce and some other things," Meek said.

The proceeds will support the venue's youth cooking programs.

"The Culinary Education Center, so children can learn how to cook," she said.

"We offer cooking classes once a month, where we spotlight a specific country and they learn how to cook some ethnic dishes," Meek added. "We also provide cooking classes for home-schooled kids."

She noted that the goal is to expand on the programming.

The dinner will be picnic bench-style seating.

"It's really a community function," Meek said, adding that it gives people a chance to mingle.

Approximately 30 volunteers are putting in the time and effort to help.

"Four times a year, we do a community dinner as a reasonable price," she said.

Ones are also held in the spring, around the Fourth of July and during the end-of-year holidays.

"Our mission is to bring the community together," Meek said.

Tickets are available in advance at The Community House and at Bailey's Grocery Store.

She encouraged the community to pick them up.

"It's really for the community. Make some new friendships and talk about the season and what we've experienced as some of us go north," Meek said. "Plus, you're never going to find a barbecue where you're going to find all that food for $15."

The Community House is at 2173 Periwinkle Way.

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