GMC Looks to Sell 6,000 Dinners
By Amy H. Mullis – The Union-Recorder
With Thanksgiving easing around the corner, many people are concentrating on cooking one bird but on Wednesday, faculty members, parents and other supporters of Georgia Military College will gather to cook 3,000.
Next week, GMC\’s Bulldog Club will hold its annual BBQ Dinner, a fund-raiser that was first held more than 20 years ago on the campus.
Barbecue plates are being sold for $6. Plates include a chicken half, baked beans, cole slaw, homemade pound cake and a roll. Tickets can be bought in advance from a GMC middle or high school student, faculty or staff member or can be bought the day of the event.
Laura Layfield, secretary of the Bulldog Club, said one of the other officers of the club graduated from GMC High School in 1976 and remembers them hosting the event then.
\”They were doing it back then, so we know it goes back to the \’70s,\” Layfield said. \”How far back we don\’t know, but it has been around forever.\”
High School Principal Jim LeBrun said the whole campus works together to make the event a success year after year.
\”Everyone is involved,\” he said. \”We actually have faculty members who cook through the night. During the day we have students at different times during the day, during their P.E. class or their JROTC class, who help purchase plates and pass them out to people as they drive through. If you come through the campus you will see at any given time 100 people- students, faculty, parents – all working together to get this accomplished.\”
And coming through the campus is what those who pack the plates actually do, Layfield said, adding that on Wednesday the entrance to the campus on Jefferson Street will be open for through traffic.
\”We open that up and re-route the traffic through the campus,\” she said. \”It\’s so cool. You get to drive straight through it. You hand them your ticket, and they hand you your box right there. You don\’t even have to get out of your car.\”
Layfield said plates can be delivered to businesses or groups that order more than 10 plates. For others, plates can be picked up from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The appropriateness of the entire school joining in is evident when considering how money raised by the Bulldog Club is dispersed.
\”The Bulldog Club is basically similar to a school\’s PTA organization,\” LeBrun said.
LeBrun and Layfield listed several purchases funded by the club including a piano, a sound system, some uniforms, band equipment, textbooks and school supplies. The Bulldog Club also provides funding for transportation for some field trips and many other items requested from teachers.
Vernon Wood, parent and chief cook for the fund-raiser since 1992, said as a parent he appreciates the work of the club.
\”It\’s for a good cause,\” he said. \”We don\’t do a bunch of small fund-raisers throughout the year. We do one fund-raiser, and it\’s a way to help the kids and help the school. There\’s certain things that the administration cannot buy, and it becomes real important.\”
Wood said every year on the morning of the barbecue sale, volunteers gather at the Huddle House several hours before those buying the plates even rise from their beds.
\”A lot of us meet at the Huddle House at about 2:30 a.m., and then at about 3 a.m. we start getting everything ready,\” he said, adding that cooking 6,000 chicken halves takes quite a while. \”We usually have the first batch of chicken ready somewhere around 8 a.m. Then they have to go up and take the chicken and put the plates together so they\’ll be ready at 11 a.m. when people come to pick them up.\”
The fund-raiser is a big event for GMC and for the community, Layfield said, a statement hard to challenge considering about 6,000 Baldwin County residents will be feasting on barbecue chicken on Wednesday.
Amy H. Mullis can be reached at (478) 453-1458 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
**Photos from the 2003 event follow**
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