ELMHURST – While many people may be out of town Labor Day weekend, others might enjoy spending their afternoon and evening Sept. 3 at the third annual 'Cue for a Cause fundraiser event.
The event, held from noon to 8 p.m. at the parking lot near York and Vallette streets in Elmhurst, funds the assistance programs of the Elmhurst Walk-In Assistance Network. The nonprofit was founded in 1997 when staff at local churches determined they could more effectively serve people's needs through having a central location for helping people and tracking the help people have received, said Executive Director Jackie Crnkovich.
"It's an opportunity for Elmhurst to show it's a caring community that's concerned about the people who live here," Crnkovich said about the event.
Eligibility for programs depends on clients having been Elmhurst residents for at least 90 days, being members in good standing at an Elmhurst church or having a child attending an Elmhurst school. Clients receive support with various needs, including financial assistance through vendors to assist clients with paying for their rent or mortgage, dental work, car repair and prescriptions.
Over time, the event has grown, and this year there are to be 20 competitors in the rib contest. Winners are determined by a panel of judges. While the public doesn't get to sample the barbecue competitors' food, they do get to sample the sauces and vote on their favorite, Crnkovich said.
Dave Carpenter won the people's choice third place best sauce and judges' pick of the first place best ribs in Elmhurst at last year's 'Cue, along with his barbecue partner Mike Miller. Carpenter is scheduled to compete again this year, this time with Jim Capannari, who owns Capannari Ice Cream in Mount Prospect.
He said it's a chance to build awareness for the Network's cause and to teach people about barbecue technique.
"It's fun to be part of it all. … Let's just cross our fingers for some good weather," Carpenter said.
The event will also have a variety of other activities, such as face painting, a Jedi versus Darth Vader lightsaber show, live music, raffles and two rib-eating contests.
Luke Rodgers, a York Community High School sophomore and member of Boy Scout Troop 82, is also helping prepare for the event with his Eagle Scout project. Rodgers created four giant board games out of wood, which proved challenging. He and the other scouts who participated in build sessions had to solve problems as they went along.
He said Jenga took the longest at about four or five hours since they had to sandpaper each of 54 plank pieces so they would slide out of the formation when the game was played. All of the pieces all had to be equal length. Connect Four was the hardest and most stressful since they had to make sure the holes didn't break the quarter-inch plywood board, he said.
"It's a different experience that everyone should try out," he said about playing giant board games. "It will be a great feeling to see everyone enjoying it."
If you go
What: 'Cue for a Cause
When: noon to 8 p.m. Sept. 3
Where: the city parking lot at York and Vallette streets, Elmhurst