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The Rotary Club barbecue and silent auction fundraiser on Oct. 8 will be the first Rotary barbecue since 2017.

HIGH POINT — The High Point Rotary Club is bringing back its popular barbecue and silent auction fundraiser to support local causes, primarily the future Sensory Garden at the High Point Public Library.

The barbecue on Friday, Oct. 8, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church fellowship hall, 918 N. Main St., will be the first Rotary barbecue since 2017, according to Rotary Club president Carol Hughes.

“I’m really excited that we’re able to bring a High Point tradition back,” Hughes said. “We’ll be able to serve people we weren’t able to serve last year.”

Last year’s efforts were derailed by the ongoing COVID pandemic, both Hughes and BBQ Committee chairman Slade Lewis said.

The club continues to operate in a COVID-friendly manner, offering a virtual option to participate in its weekly meetings. With a good number of its members vaccinated, the Rotary Club wanted to get its members engaged again and made the decision to host the barbecue fundraiser just before the delta variant started, Lewis said.

“We just decided it’s an event that we can make safe,” Lewis said. “We’re following all the COVID protocols so all the cooks, preparers and participants will be safe. We felt like people were ready to just get back out again, and they’re ready for some good barbecue.”

The Lenny Peters Foundation and Bethany Medical Center are the main sponsors of the barbecue event. Attendees can dine in or take out.

“I really hope that folks will come out and just enjoy a sense of community and being together, understanding that all the proceeds are going to great causes in our community,” Lewis said. “If we can make money and have a good time sharing hospitality and friendship, then I think it will be considered to be a success.”

The High Point Rotary Club was organized as a club in 1920 and started its barbecue fundraiser in 1958, Lewis said. Rotary Club members actually auctioned off new cars at some of the earliest barbecues before the fundraising format switched to a raffle in the 1990s, Lewis said.

Members decided to present the current fundraiser as a 50-50 raffle at $5 a ticket or five tickets for $20 with more than one chance to win, Lewis said. Half of raffle proceeds will go to the Sensory Garden at the High Point Public Library, with the remainder to be directed to other charities in the area, Lewis said.

“It’s also so important for us to support these organizations and charities,” Lewis said. “This is such a tough time for them when fundraising is down overall. We wanted to make sure we could continue to support our community partners.”

Tickets are $12 and include barbecue, slaw, baked beans and a roll. Fruit cobbler also will be offered for sale in addition.

cingram@hpenews.com | 336-888-3534 | @HPEcinde