About 700 pounds of ribs and shrimp, barbecued to perfection, were enjoyed by 320 people Saturday at the 18th Annual Cajun Creole Fest, a fundraiser for Oakhurst Sierra Sunrise Rotary Club.
Along with the all-you-can-eat barbecue, 40 raffle items and three live auction items, donated by area businesses, were up for grabs.
Net proceeds from the event are about $17,000 for Rotary community service programs, said Bernie McGoldrick, event chair for the past seven years with McGoldrick & McGoldrick, attorneys at law, also a major sponsor of the Rotary fundraiser.
"Our community's generosity amazes me," he said. "For many years I have called the same businesses who donate to so many other local causes, and I am almost never turned down. I hope people appreciate how dedicated to our community the sponsors and attendees of the event are."
All 23 Rotary members volunteered at the fest, held at the Oakhurst Community Center, as well as more than a dozen high school Interact and Key Club members, and a dozen volunteers from the Wasuma PTA, McGoldrick said.
"I always support the community," said Realtor Melissa Buller about why she attended Saturday's fundraiser, along with more than 300 others. "I always believe in giving back."
Major event sponsors, along with McGoldrick, included Harry Baker of Sierra Tel, Don DeBernardi of Sierra Asset Management, and Brad Ditton of Century 21 Ditton Realty. Another 13 businesses also provided sponsorships.
Donated live auction items included a two-night stay at The Redwoods in Yosemite, a fire pit full of wine from Marilyn Rigg with State Farm, and a hammock donated by David Linn, Attorney at Law. The grand raffle prizes were a large flatscreen TV from Sears and Farmer's Insurance; Kenmore BBQ from Sears and Claiborne and Associates, CPAs; and an iPad from Sierra Asset Management.
"The event has a reputation for great food and high quality raffle prizes," McGoldrick said. "People know Rotary is going to put on an excellent event, and they know the money raised will be well spent in the community."