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Rotary roast draws crowd, raises money

March 06, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN

Five hundred pounds of beef.

Three bushels of oysters.

And enough linked sausage to cover five football fields.

That's what volunteers prepared to feed the 650 people expected to attend the Hagerstown Rotary Club's Bull & Oyster Roast fundraiser Sunday at Hagerstown Community College.

"And we ran out of oyster soup in two hours," said Darrell Fowler, a Rotary Club past president.

Fowler, a franchise owner of seven Waffle House restaurants, volunteered Sunday to help with the event.

John League, Rotary Club president and editor and publisher of The Herald-Mail Co., said 150 more tickets were sold this year than last. Money raised at the event goes to the Hagerstown Rotary Foundation, which donates to local charities and nonprofits.

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About $10,000 was raised at last year's inaugural event, and League said the total should be greater this year.

"The food is great," said Jane Anderson of Hagers-town, whose husband is a Rotary Club member.

Maggie Callahan of Clear Spring said her boss, Red Horse Steak House owner Chris Jefferies, spent the past week preparing the meat for roast.

"Anywhere there's a grill, that's where you'll find him," she said. "He puts his whole heart into this one event."

Callahan, a server at the restaurant, said she watched Sunday as the Red Horse cooks shucked oysters.

"It's nice for the cooks to serve me for a change," she said.

Callahan attended the fundraiser with her husband, Doug Baker.

"I think it's great," he said.

The couple brought $100 with them to spend on raffles and gaming at the roast. They lost it all, they said.

"But it's fine, because it's for charity," Baker said.

Laird Bush said he does not eat oysters - a popular choice at the roast - but he did sample the other dishes. Pit roasted beef, barbecued pork, clams, sausage, chicken fajitas, cheese platters and pasta salad were among the choices.

"I tried a little of everything," Bush said. "We're having fun."

League said the Rotary Club plans to hold the event again next year.

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