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McHenry Rotary Club: 2017 Blues, Brews, BBQ fest most successful yet

McHENRY – The McHenry Rotary Club has announced its 2017 Blues, Brews and BBQ fest was the most successful since its 2012 inception.

The annual event, which features live music, vendors, and a homebrew and cook-off competition, raised $53,000 with sponsorships accounting for nearly $18,500 of that, Rotary Club officials said in a news release. The event is aimed at raising funds to support local nonprofit agencies.

Benefiting agencies include: Family Alliance, Family Health Partnership Clinic, Northern Illinois Food Bank, Neighbors Food Pantry in Wonder Lake, Food for Thought, Friends In Service Here Food Pantry, Garden Quarter Neighborhood Resource Center, Home of the Sparrow, Knights of Columbus Councils 1288 and 16446, McHenry County Workforce Network, Pioneer Center of McHenry County and VFW Post 4600.

Funding also goes toward academic and vocational scholarships, youth leadership programs and advanced placement exam fee coverage for Johnsburg School District 12 and McHenry Community High School District 156 students in need.

McHenry Rotary also has used funding to benefit international causes.

“We want those who have supported our club and those who have supported Blues, Brews and BBQ – whether through a significant cash donation, an in-kind donation, helping us to spread the word or simply by attending – that we are being good stewards with the money,” Donna Schaefer, co-chairwoman of the event, said.

The 2018 festival will be held from Aug. 17 to 19, Schaefer said.

Club officials attributed much of the 2017 success to the event’s new Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned, professional-level barbecue contest. KCBS is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting barbecue and sanctions more than 500 barbecue contests across the world.

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