Plans Underway for 25th Annual Strimbu Memorial BBQ

2014 Camaro SS to be Raffled
The 25th Annual Strimbu BBQ is planned for Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at the Yankee Lake Ballroom in Brookfield as part of a fund raising effort for the Strimbu Memorial Fund.

To mark its 25th year, organizers decided to hold a raffle for a 2014 Camaro SS as part of the fund raising for the Fund. This iconic muscle car painted in “Red Hot,” comes with a sunroof, black leather SS interior, a 6.2L V8 engine and 20-inch aluminum wheels, among its many features. The Camaro has a sticker price of almost $43,000.

Money raised through the raffle, which is sponsored by Flynn’s Tire & Auto Service, will be used to further the work of the late Tom and Nick Strimbu Jr. Also this year, because of the 25th anniversary, the amounts of the college scholarships have been increased. There will be twelve $2,500 college scholarships and one $25,000 scholarship to the overall winner, for a total of $55,000 awarded to local high school students. Dollar-wise, this is the most any local organization awards in scholarships.

Those wishing to purchase tickets for the car raffle can easily go to the website or can purchase tickets at Flynn’s Tire & Service locations, from Strimbu Memorial Fund board members or by calling 330.448.4046, ext. 134. Ticket prices are one for $20, three for $50 or eight for $100. The lucky ticket will be drawn on May 7, 2014. Rules for the raffle can also be found on the website.

Annually the bar-b-que draws a sell-out crowd of 1,600. Last year the event netted over $150,000 in proceeds. The BBQ will again get in full swing with doors opening at 5 p.m. The food is endless and reminiscent of a full-scale Texas bar-b-que with a multitude of appetizers, plus beef, turkey, duck, pig, ox, fish and lamb served straight from the spit.

This year’s live entertainment will feature country-rock star Chris Higbee. In 2000, Higbee founded a band, the PovertyNeck Hillbillies (PNH), named after a hollow on his father’s farm. As the lead of PNH, Higbee delivered wild and energetic concerts across the country on stages, rooftops, and any other platform from which Higbee could fathom a way to play. His extraordinary fiddle playing became widely known and he was asked to play fiddle alongside music icon Charlie Daniels. PNH performed for seven years, acquiring an international fan base, distributing three records and releasing a No. 2 nationally rated video, “Mr. Right Now,” starring Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

As a solo artist, Higbee has retained the dedicated, loyal PNH fan base while attracting thousands of new fans called “Higbillies,” who follow him from show-to-show. Higbee has released two solo CDs and is enjoying international support of his hits “Fiddles Rock,” “Roll on By,” “Alright Tonight,” “Barn Party” and “Guilty as Charged.” Higbee is currently performing to large crowds and featuring songs from his self-titled albums including, “Write to Me,” a song dedicated to his wife Melissa, who is currently serving her country and is an Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran.

Since its inception in 1990, the Strimbu Memorial Fund has provided millions of dollars in donations and scholarships. The fund also supports local economic development and many charitable organizations. Ninety-nine percent of the proceeds of the Strimbu BBQ go to these scholarships and grants.

“The Strimbu Memorial Fund was created to perpetuate the work of the late Tom and Nick Strimbu Jr., who had a passion for leading individuals and economic development agencies in order to attract, assist and retain the industrial base of the valley,” said Board President Paul O’Brien. “In addition, when the Strimbu Memorial Fund awards scholarships to area students, we are investing in the life of a person—and that is worth millions.”

The BBQ is also known for its giveaway of a bag of Vidalia onions to all those in attendance. “This tradition started as the Strimbu family always brought back Vidalia onions from the South to give to their friends, explained O’Brien.”

The event will also feature both silent and live auctions, with many unique items such as utility vehicles, travel packages, Lake Erie walleye fishing trips, sporting event tickets and loges, and assorted jewelry items, just to name a few.

Tickets are $90 and are available by calling John Holliday at 724.699.8869.