If you don't plan to fire up the grill this Labor Day, but still crave barbecue, why not buy it from one of three nonprofits holding Labor Day barbecues? Your purchase will help beef up their benevolence funds.
Signal Mountain Lions Club
Visit the Signal Mountain Lions Club's barbecue, and you just might drive home in a new car.
The Lions have been hosting their Labor Day barbecue since 1960. This Monday, they will again be at Althaus Park, which is behind Signal Mountain Golf Club, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A $10 plate includes barbecue, beans, slaw and bread.
To build anticipation for the event, the Lions have been selling tickets for a car raffle. The winner gets a choice of three cars: Ford Fiesta, Nissan Versa or Chevrolet Spark (all from the Mountain View Auto Group.)
Tickets are $50 apiece and may be purchased in advance from a Signal Lion. They will also be sold at the barbecue Monday morning before the winner is drawn at 1 p.m.
Union Gospel Mission
Who says there's no such thing as a free lunch?
Union Gospel Mission is hosting its third free barbecue on Labor Day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Yes, you read that right. It's free, but a donation is encouraged to help the mission continue providing meals, shelter and clothing to men struggling with addiction, homelessness and other life-controlling issues.
The Rev. John Rector, Union Gospel Mission's executive director, says there are a few people each year who come through for a plate and don't donate, "but most everyone drops a check or bills into the bucket."
Rector says when the first free barbecue was held two years ago the event raised almost $9,000.
"Along with that, the guy who owned the building we operated out of donated it to us," he says.
Last year, they served 500 plates and made a little over $5,000 for an average donation of $10 per plate.
The popularity of this Labor Day barbecue has prompted the addition of a second serving location this year. Barbecue will be served at New Haven Baptist Church, 1058 Graysville Road, one block off East Brainerd Road, as well as the new location in Hixson, Friendship Baptist Church, 1005 Gadd Road.
"We marinate the barbecue for 24 hours before slow-cooking the meat, and we use liquid smoke so it has a great smoky flavor," says Rector of the food they'll serve Monday.
Red Bank Masonic Lodge 717
Red Bank Masonic Lodge 717 is hosting its annual Labor Day barbecue inside the Red Bank Community Center on Monday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The center is located behind Erlanger North Medical Center on Morrison Springs Road.
Robert McGavock says the Masons will serve pork plates with bun, slaw, baked beans, dessert and iced tea for $10, dine-in or take-out. Or guests may buy meat by the pound, with sides also for sale and available to-go.
McGavock says proceeds add to the Red Bank Masonic Lodge's charity fund "benefiting a variety of needs in the community that do not rest under the umbrella of major nonprofits," he explains.
Contact Susan Pierce at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6284.