Goodies are served during the Veteran’s & Families 4th of July BBQ at the Elks Lodge #969, Thursday. (Mark Wilson Photo)
Roswell’s evening of fun to celebrate the July 4 holiday began at the Elks Grand Lodge with their annual Veteran’s Barbeque. “It’s Veterans Appreciation Day, but the dinner is open to everyone,” said John Wilson, event coordinator. “It’s our way of saying [auth] thank you, Roswell.”
The purpose of the event is to acknowledge local veterans and their families for the sacrifices they made to the country. It’s designed not only to pay homage to living veterans, but also those who have passed. “That’s what we’re all about supporting and honoring vets,” he explained.
Wilson said that event began after Mike Satterfield died on July 4, 2009. Satterfield spearheaded Roswell’s annual fireworks display for several years before his death.
Last year’s dinner served nearly 700 people. This year, the Elks and the servers from the Seratoma Club expected around 800. The dinner is a production and the lodge was appropriately decorated red, white and blue. The menu consisted of barbecue pork, tortillas and rolls, pasta salad, cucumber salad and beans. The Elks purchased 350 pounds pork, 75 pounds of dried beans and 700 ice cream bars. “They started cooking around 4 o’clock last night,” said Wilson.
He also noted that the Elks for Vets Charity Golf Tournament, held on June 1, collected some $28,000 while the Benevolent Patriotic Order of the Doves raised another $650 with their garage sale.