LEE JESS REMEMBERS looking at now-retired firefighter Jeff Hopp — and thinking the man was crazy.
“We all looked at him like he was goofy because we were like, ‘Why would you want to have a barbecue [in March]?’” Lee said. “And that was his point: Nobody’s outside cooking chicken on the grill for themselves [in winter].”
Turns out, Jeff knew what he was talking about. In fact, his brainchild has outlasted him on the department: less than three months after the former
Ripon Area Fire District captain retired, the department will be holding its 21st-annual chicken barbecue.
And it just keeps getting stronger.
The annual barbecue grossed nearly $10,000 last year, easily out-pacing the usual $5,000 to $8,000 a year to help the department purchase “extras” that help keep Ripon safe. ...
WANT TO EXPERIENCE A taste of the (tasty) chaos?
Tickets remain for this year’s barbecue — $9 a meal in advance, $10 at the door.
“[Webster’s Marketplace] has tickets; we have tickets here. Any fire department member [should have them as well],” Lee said, adding they can be obtained by calling the fire station, too, at 745-2262.
To read the entire column, see the March 2, 2017 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.