When coronavirus concerns put its annual Ribfest fundraiser at risk of being cancelled this year, Camp High Hopes officials switched gears.
Instead of the traditional in-person festival, Saturday's Ribest will morph into a roadside event at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino's Battery Park.
“We just didn’t feel it was the right thing to do to hold a public event right now,” said Sarah Morgan, Camp High Hopes' advancement director.
“We have a lot of loyal followers for Ribfest, people who come every year. So, we wanted to be able to… first of all, keep Ribfest in people’s minds that it’s still an event, it’s still supports Camp High Hopes.”
From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, those who order grilling packages can drive into Battery Park to pick pick up a sampling of Tyson Fresh Meats' pork, chicken and beef. For $80, each order includes a rack of frozen spareribs, a 5-pound frozen pork loin, 4 pounds of fresh chicken wings, 5 pounds of fresh ground beef, an 8 to 10-pound frozen pork butt and a package of fresh dinner sausages. They also will receive a 2-liter bottle of Pepsi and sauce and seasoning from Famous Dave’s.
Morgan said Camp High Hopes sold over 100 grilling packages on the first day of pre-orders on July 22.
Grilling packages also will be available during the day of the roadshow, Morgan said.
Dan Heffernan, vice president of human resources at Tyson Fresh Meats, said the company donated around 12 to 14 thousand pounds of meat for the event.
During these uncertain times, Heffernan said Tyson wants to do all it can to support local non-profit organizations.
Morgan said Ribfest will still sell raffle tickets and will announce the winners through Facebook on Aug. 3. Raffle tickets are a dollar each. Morgan noted some big prizes are available this year. The grand prize is a new Traeger Pro Series grill.
Morgan said they will also being selling t-shirts for the event.
She said Camp High Hopes anticipates a return next year to its traditional Ribfest, which includes on-site sampling of barbecue. But the organization also wants to incorporate a meat sale into the 2021 event.
“This change from this year will also be a change for next year,” Morgan said. “A good change, a permanent change.”
Morgan said Camp High Hopes is thankful for the public being understanding of the changes required this year and for the sponsors sticking with the nonprofit organization during trying times.
“We had such a huge response about this,” she said.