Pig out raises big bucks for United Way
Published 12:45 am Sunday, November 9, 2014
Hundreds of people pigged out on barbecue Saturday, raising thousands of dollars for the United Way of West Central Mississippi.
About 300 people attended the Big Pig Out barbecue cook-off held Saturday outside Lady Luck Casino, said Kristen Meehan, communications director for the local United Way.
“I think we raised around $2,500 or more,” she said.
The money came though admissions to the cook-off, and from River Region Medical Center whose first-place team donated their prize money back to the United Way, Meehan said.
The River Region team offered a pork barbecue over coleslaw with a thick, tangy sauce whipped up by the hospital’s chef.
Tyson Foods and Morgan Stanley investments firm tied for second place and Nobie’s Barbecue placed third, Meehan said.
“We were just so excited that we found people who were willing to participate and donate their time to the United Way,” she said.
Admission was more brisk than some competitors expected. By 2 p.m., many of the teams lined up in the lot next to Lady Luck Arena had run out of food.
“It’s a good thing we didn’t wait until any later,” said Myrna Turnipseed of Vicksburg as she sampled barbecue from Lady Luck’s restaurant.
Clear brisk weather certainly helped the turn out.
“It was a great turn out, great day and great weather,” said Marion Roberson of Morgan Stanley. “There’s not a better setting.”
Tyson Foods’ team ran out of pork ribs, but quickly whipped up another batch on the grill they brought to the contest from their food processing plant in Flowers.
“We cook for our plant,” said Chris Epps, one of the managers at Tyson, as he mopped sauce onto a rack of ribs. “We’ve got a little cooking team going.”
Epps joked about sharing a name with the recently indicted former head of the Mississippi Department of Corrections before he flipped the ribs and explained why Tyson’s employees volunteered to cook out for the fundraiser.
“The main thing is about having fun for a good cause,” Epps said.
The United Way of West Central Mississippi has 22 partner agencies that receive funding and serve Warren, Sharkey, Issaquena and Claiborne counties in Mississippi and Madison Parish in Louisiana.