Pandemic precautions having spilled over into 2021, the Millbank Heritage and Arts Society is sticking with takeout orders for its annual spring barbecue.
The move follows last autumn’s event, which saw organizers shift to pre-ordered takeout instead of the traditional in-person barbecue. And, as with the September outing, this fundraiser is mostly about helping to keep the lights on, the group having suffered through the same downturn as many cultural organizations over the past year.
“It has been like a bit of a challenging year for smaller organizations, so this fundraiser is a good opportunity for us to kind of rebuild after a tough year. Hopefully it gets us back on the right track,” said Cameron Streicher, cofounder of the Millbank Heritage and Arts Society.
The altered-format event last September saw some 180 plates ordered to help support the group that aims to preserve Millbank’s culture. Streicher says he anticipates orders to be similar to the last run. Food orders – barbecued chicken, baked potatoes, coleslaw, hot vegetable, a dinner roll and a slice of pie – cost $15 per adult and $7 for children 4-10 years age (free for children under 4). Proceeds will be going back into the society to pay yearly expenses.
Streicher says there are COVID-19 measures in place, and the event is running with the approval of public health officials to provide those attending their first drive-in fundraiser.
“We have a tent set up at the end of the sidewalk there, right in front of the church building, so people will drive by,” he explained. “What we have people do is book up to a 15-minute window, so, say, 6 o’clock to 6:15, and then they can show up any time during those 15 minutes to pick up their food. That allows us to keep it organized so we… don’t have a dish plated and it’s sitting there for an hour waiting for someone to pick it up. It’s all kept hot in thermo-regulated coolers, and then we just plate it for each 15-minute window.”
Organizers keep track of the orders, which are paid for ahead of time by e-transfer, cash or cheque – electronic is the preferred method – and have them ready during the pre-arranged 15-minute window.
“The only thing they need to do at that moment is tell us what kind of pie they would like,” he explained, noting pies are being donated by Anna Mae’s.
This is the heritage society’s first event of the year, but they are open to private bookings until the time allows for more traditional programs held in a normal year.
“Depending on how well it goes, we can decide from there what we can offer,” said Streicher.
Orders need to be placed by April 17 to be ready for the April 24 event running from 4:30-7:30 p.m. at the latest. Those interested can contact Pauline Horst at 519-998-0034 or by email at email@example.com.