The Cassville Senior Center will host its 14th annual main fundraising event benefitting Miles For Meals this Saturday. The center's Hoe Down and Duck Quack will be held at the Cassville facility from 5 to 8 p.m.
"This event benefits our meals program," said Pam Klepper, Cassville Senior Center assistant administrator. "With all of the federal and state budget cuts, we have seen a decrease in funding. Even though some of the funding was restored this year, we are still not receiving the funding we had before, and we do have a need.
"All of the money raised at this event stays at the local level at the Cassville Senior Center," said Klepper. "These funds go to help Barry County seniors. This money helps your friends and neighbors stay in their homes longer. So many seniors can't afford food with their other costs. Those who can afford food can't afford to prepare the nutritious meals that we offer."
In addition to federal and state funding cuts, the Cassville Senior Center has been impacted by an 18 percent increase in food costs, said Linda Parker, senior center administrator. Over the last year, the center stretched available funding to prepare, serve and deliver around 50,000 meals to seniors across southern Barry County.
On Saturday, area residents will have the opportunity to show their support for the meals program while enjoying barbecue, musical entertainment and other activities.
The fundraising event will begin with the annual duck race, which will be held at the senior center at 5 p.m. Area residents will have the opportunity to adopt plastic ducks for the race, which will be held on a water raceway that will be constructed in the parking lot. Ducks will cost $5 each.
"All of the ducks will be placed in the water at the same time," said Klepper. "We have a barrier that we place in the water, and when we lift it, the ducks race to a funnel area at the bottom of the track. The individual who adopts the first duck through the narrow finish line will win $250."
After the duck race, attendees will be encouraged to come inside the center to enjoy live musical entertainment by Roaring River Sounds Band. The popular group, which performs at all of the senior center dances, will play an assortment of country and classic rock songs.
Those in attendance will also have the opportunity to purchase barbecue meals beginning at 6 p.m. Meals will cost $6 each and will include barbecue brisket, potato salad, coleslaw, rolls, grilling beans and dessert.
Jim Fohn has donated the barbecue for the event, and Sue Craig has volunteered to make the potato salad. The senior center kitchen staff will prepare the remainder of the meal, and cookies, donated by Hospice Compassus, will be served as dessert.
The Angel Memorial Pie and Cake Auction will begin at 7 p.m. Last year's auction featured 25 pies and numerous cakes, cinnamon rolls and other baked goods donated by area residents.
"We will have pies made by Alma Edie and Edith Craig," said Klepper. "Last year, Edith Craig's pie sold for $1,100. It is a point of honor who buys that pie. Pies made by Alma Edie also brought $100 each."
Area residents interested in making a pie or other baked dessert for the auction are encouraged to sign up by calling the senior center. Auction items will also be accepted on the day of the fundraiser.
"We will also have auction items that have been donated by area merchants," said Klepper, "and we will have door prizes."
Around 150 community members attended last year's Hoe Down and Duck Quack fundraiser. The senior center is preparing for at least as many people this year.
"We would be fine with more, though," said Klepper. "We would be fine with everybody coming out to eat a lot of barbecue."
The Cassville Senior Center also accepts monetary donations for its meals program. All donations are tax deductible.
For more information, call the senior center at 847-4510.