Thursday, 13 August 2020 17:03

Barbecue cooked for Richmond County Rescue Squad's annual fundraiser

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Johnny Collins, with the East Rockingham Fire Department, transfers a tray of recently pulled pork to be chopped into barbecue for the Richmond County Rescue Squad's annual plate sale. Johnny Collins, with the East Rockingham Fire Department, transfers a tray of recently pulled pork to be chopped into barbecue for the Richmond County Rescue Squad's annual plate sale. William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — The smell of cooked pork filled the air behind the Richmond County Rescue Squad Thursday in preparation for the annual barbecue plate sale.


Five grills were stationed out back with 750 pounds of Boston butt cooking since 7 a.m. until tender.

The squad usually cooks around 1,000 pounds, according to Deputy Chief Mike Stokes, but they decided to reduce it this year.

The meat was then taken over to a table, pulled apart, run through a chopper and doused in Stokes’ own Bare Knuckles BBQ sauce.

Stokes, deputy chief of the rescue squad, said the event is usually held in May, but was postponed this year — like many other things — because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The sale is the squad’s largest fundraiser of the year.

All the money raised from the sale will go into the squad’s operating budget to help pay bills and purchase equipment.

The rescue squad gets $12,000 from the county each year, as well as quarterly contributions from the United Way of Richmond County. All other funds are raised by the department.

The squad also sells concessions at the professional wrestling matches hosted at the base, making $200-$300 per event. But mass-gathering restrictions imposed by Gov. Roy Cooper body slammed that revenue source for several months.

Stokes said those just started back up in July.

However, the squad was able to purchase a rescue boat with the wrestling-related funds, according to Stokes.

For those who try to stay away from “the other white meat,” the squad will also be cooking eight cases of chicken, Stokes said.

Plates — which include baked beans, slaw, a roll and dessert — will be sold for $8 each. Barbecue can also be purchased for $8 per pound.

The plate sale starts at 11 a.m. at the rescue base on Rockingham Road.

Photo courtesy: Zach Long