Rotarians Rock for Children’s Charities

Rock n Ribs


For a few Downtown Rotary members, the motto might just as well include “Service Above Sleep” as well as “Service Above Self.”

They’re the ones who pull all-nighters every year so that the club can compete in the annual Rock’n Ribs BBQ Festival presented by the Rotary Clubs of Springfield Missouri. This year, Thomas Runion will be Downtown Rotary’s chief barbeque cook for the festival taking place April 24-25 at Ozark Empire Fairgrounds.

This will be the 16th year for Rock’n Ribs, which distributed more than $1.5 million to seven children’s charities in the Ozarks. The recipients of the annual festival proceeds are Big Brothers Big Sisters, Great Circle, Boy Scouts of America, Good Samaritan Boys Ranch, Harmony House, Ronald McDonald Tooth Truck, and the YMCA.

It takes thousands of volunteers to pull off the annual festival, which is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society. Downtown Rotary members join the cook team to set up and decorate the booth, pull pork, fill sample cups and pour on the sauce to serve the thousands who attend the festival in a smoky, sticky weekend of fun and support for kids across the Ozarks.

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