Plans Underway for 26th Annual Strimbu Memorial BBQ

Date set for May 6, 2015

The 26th Annual Strimbu BBQ is planned for Wednesday, May 6, 2015 at the Yankee Lake Ballroom in Brookfield as part of a fund raising effort for the Strimbu Memorial Fund.

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. This past December, the Strimbu Memorial Fund awarded nearly $175,000 in grants to area organizations and individuals.

“The Strimbu Memorial Fund was created to perpetuate the work of the late 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.”

This year, the fund will award leadership scholarships at the annual event in the amount of $2,000 each to qualified high school seniors in 14 local school districts, with an additional $10,000 awarded to the overall leader.

Annually the event draws a sell-out crowd of 1,600. Last year, the event’s 25th anniversary, netted $200,000 in proceeds and raffled off a car in commemoration.

The BBQ will get in full swing with doors opening at 5 p.m. The food, catered by Jeffrey Chrystal Catering, will be endless and reminiscent of a full-scale Texas bar-b-que with a multitude of appetizers, plus blackened catfish, BBQ ribs, cherry wood fire chicken, smoked turkey breast, pork loin and more.

Dinner will be served until 9 p.m., then at 9:30 p.m., a late night offering of wood-fire pizzas will be served until 11 p.m. Also, new to this year’s event is a premium wine bar with souvenir wine glasses.

Because of the overwhelming response to last year’s entertainment, this year will once again 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.”

In addition, the night will 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, furniture, dinner packages and assorted jewelry items, just to name a few.

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

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