The Woodward News

September 24, 2013

Sharon firefighters hosting dinner

Rowynn Ricks
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — SHARON – The Sharon Volunteer Fire Department will be holding its annual barbecue dinner fundraiser this Saturday (Sept. 28) evening.

The dinner will be served from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the fire station, located at 102 S. Main in Sharon. The meal will be served under a tent in front of the firehouse, with tables set up inside the station “where people can visit, eat and just enjoy themselves,” Sharon Fire Chief Bill Phillips said.

The meal will feature sliced smoked beef and pork, calf fries, coleslaw, and beans.

Phillips said the beef and pork comes from Ray's Meat Market, which then donates a large smoker for the meat to be smoked in for a full 24-hours before the dinner. But only after Phillips has covered it all in his special seasoning.

The calf fries also get their own special breading and seasoning, as part of a recipe developed by the firefighters themselves, before they are fried up fresh on the night of the dinner, Phillip said.

“What they eat here won't taste like anybody else's anywhere,” he said, noting “we're really proud of the food that we make.”

The cost of the meal is by donation only, Phillips said.

“Whatever they can donate will be appreciated,” he said.

Phillips explained that as a volunteer fire department, “we have no budget other than what little money we get from the county sales tax. So we're dependent on the fundraiser really helping us out.”

The money raised at the dinner “helps us buy fuel, purchase equipment and for maintenance; it costs a lot to keep everything repaired,” he said.

Especially since the Sharon Volunteer Fire Department continues to grow and add more equipment to help keep area residents safe from medical situations as well as from fires.

“When the Sharon Fire Department was organized around 26, 27 years ago we had just had one 1-ton truck, now we have 9 vehicles, including a rescue unit with the Jaws of Life and that type of rescue equipment so that we can help take care of people that way too,” he said.

But while “the main purpose is to get money to keep operating,” Phillips said the barbecue dinner also has a secondary purpose as “a community function.”

“We think it's good for the community as a way for everyone to get together, because there's not a lot to do in Sharon anymore,” he said.

In addition, he said, “this is how we thank the community for their support of us.”

“We do get a lot of community support,” Phillips said. “On our flyers for the barbecue dinner we list over 90 sponsors who have given anywhere from $100 to $500 and we really appreciate all that help.”

However, he said he knows not everyone can afford to donate as much, which is why there is no set price for the meal.

“It's just whatever they can afford,” he said. “If they don't have a lot, they should still come. We want everybody to come, see our equipment and have a good time.”