Column/Barbecue an example of making good things happen

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 20, 2007

I had the opportunity to participate last week in a civic endeavor to raise funds that will be used for enrichment of those in our community. The event was the Selma Rotary Club’s annual barbeque, and I was impressed with the “machine like” process the club had in place to manage the event.

The club’s current barbeque hut is impressive. Sitting under a metal roof are several pits where more than 1,000 pounds of barbeque was expertly cooked over a period of 12 hours or so.

I understand from speaking to club members that previous huts had been accidentally burned to the ground by some overzealous club members who let the fire get away from them.

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Thankfully, this year the fires were kept in check.

As a practicing Rotarian the past 12 years I’ve participated in everything from pancake breakfasts to selling Christmas Trees to raise funds for scholarships for children.

Each of them was unique in its organization and implementation, but the goal was always the same; to serve the community you live in through civic service and show a sense of pride in the community you live in.

In past years, the Selma Rotary Club has raised more than $10,000 from its barbeque sales for community endeavors and I expect this year will be no different. Like ants heading toward an anthill, car after car rolled through the pickup line at Memorial Stadium to secure their “pound of flesh,” or in some cases, many, many pounds.

Members trotted from car-to-car taking and delivering orders while other members were busy pouring barbeque sauce into containers, making change and bagging orders. Henry Ford would have been proud of the assembly line club members had in place.

There were also members who delivered orders to individuals and local businesses, passing along a smile and a “thank you.”

My job was to help other club members take the finished product, which had been pulled from the bone and chopped with the help of some Zeigler employees, and put it into one pound containers. Containers were then boxed and placed in a refrigerated trailer until they were passed out to customers.

Being from Tuscaloosa I was raised on Dreamland barbeque, but after helping pack about 1,000 containers of meat, it may be a while before I want to visit a local barbeque shack.

Selma should be proud of its local Rotary Club as well as the many other civic clubs who work to make this a better place to live.

Many people say the “sky is falling” in relation to the direction the city is going, but after witnessing what a small group of dedicated people from varying backgrounds can accomplish when they all work together, I’m convinced there are many more good things about this city than bad things.

The alarmists would be wise to consider that before they condemn our community and the people that live in it.

Dennis Palmer is publisher of The Selma Times-Journal. He can be reached at 410-1712 or by email: .