If Labor Day’s Pork Off is any indication of how the Pink Out next month is going to do, get ready for a big year in the fight against breast cancer.
The sixth annual Labor Day rib cook-off that precedes the county’s premier breast cancer event, this year slated for Oct. 11, Monday's Pork Off at Paddy's Raw Bar on St. George Island attracted the largest number of participants to date, 17, and the most money raised, a little over $4,000.
Lauren Luberto, who along with Jessica Sparks, Dayle Flint, Roxanne Christie and other devoted women have diligently expanded the Pink Out, said participants paid a $40 registration fee, and could begin cooking at 7:30 a.m., with all ribs off the grill and turned in to the judges by 2:30 p.m. Participants were not allowed to leave the premises during the duration of the event.
Richard Wade captured the title for the second consecutive year, with John Solomon, of 10-4 BBQ, edging out for second place, by a mere half-point, Joel Norred, of Pogy Road BBQ.
Luberto said the Food Truck Ladies from St. George Island, Kim Council and Gena Trice, volunteered to smoke 16 butts and 20 racks of ribs for the Pork Off’s dinner plates. “We provided the meat and they provided all the hard labor to cook it!” said Luberto.
A bounce house water slide kept the kids occupied, plus there was face painting donated by Merrill Livingston and Chantel Burdette. The rib plates and pulled pork dinners helped raise the record take, plus merchandise, like T-shirts, cups, stickers and raffle tickets, was sold for the upcoming Pink Out,
Luberto said this year the Pink Out will be raffling a restaurant gift certificate bouquet, a basket full of certificates that so far include donations from just about all the local restaurants from Apalachicola to Carrabelle, valued at upwards of $1,200.
“And if there are any restaurants that we have not contacted and they would like to donate a gift certificate, we will be happy to add it to our bouquet,” said Luberto.
Raffle tickets can be purchased for $10 each or five for $40, and are on sale at Paddy's Raw Bar on St. George Island. The drawing will be held at the Pink Out on Oct. 11; the winner does not need to be present.
Sponsors for the Pork Off included Sparks and Sons’ Island Grocery, Sysco, Piggly Wiggly Express, The Beach Pit and Gulfside IGA.