Passersby drawn to Funkstown food

June 28, 2005|by MARIE GILBERT /Staff Writer

FUNKSTOWN - With temperatures in the 90s and a scorching sun overhead, no one envied Eric Schminkey's job.

Schminkey was one of the "grill masters" Saturday as the Funkstown Volunteer Fire Company held a chicken barbecue, and open bit beef and ham sandwich sale.

"It's a hot job, especially today," said Schminkey, a member of the fire company. "But everyone takes turns. From prepping the food to grilling, we all pitch in."

The outdoor barbecue has been a tradition with the Funkstown Volunteer Fire Company for six years, said Larry Iseminger, company president.


The fundraiser is held the last Saturday of the month, from March to November. All proceeds benefit the fire company.

"With an operating budget of $296,000, we rely on fundraising events like this to help us out," Iseminger said. "And the public has been very supportive. We always have a good turnout and a lot of repeat customers."

In addition to people in the neighborhood and passersby, Iseminger said the group also receives call-in orders from area businesses with a significant number of employees.

"We stay pretty busy all day," he said. "People seem to like what we offer, including our secret sauce for the chicken."

Wilbur and Gloria Snyder, who live just outside Funkstown, said they try to support the barbecues as often as they can.

"The food is delicious and I don't have to cook," said Gloria. "Plus, I also like the idea that we're helping the fire company. We have two sons who used to be EMTs with this company, so this group means a lot to us."

Seventeen-year-old Amy Myers of Hagerstown said she was picking up some pit beef sandwiches to take home for lunch.

"My sister and I were driving by," she said, "and the food smelled so good we couldn't resist."

Kevin Sokol, 12, who lives minutes from the fire company, said he likes to come to the barbecues "because the food is delicious."

He was accompanied by his mother, Linda Sokol, who was buying food, including two half-chickens and a stack of beef and ham sandwiches, to take home for the rest of the family.

"We'll eat some of the food today and save some for tomorrow," she explained.

"We are definitely regulars at this event. I don't think we've missed one since they started," she said. "We even mark the calendar so we don't forget."

Sokol said they keep coming back because the food is delicious "and it helps the fire company."

"We're neighbors," she said, "and this is our fire company. We want to help out as much as we can."

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