Cooks fired up to help Special Learning Center

Barbecue, music, beer and some friendly competition can be found Friday and Saturday at the Capital City Cook-Off at the Jaycee Fairgrounds.

The two-day event features a Buck-A-Bone barbecue rib competition and a backyard competition. Buck-A-Bone is from 5-8 p.m. Friday and includes a rib competition, all-you-can-eat ribs for $15, a beer garden and live music from Jason Luebbering and Turn Style. The backyard competition includes pork, chicken and rib entries, judging begins at 11:30 a.m. April 27.

Greg Bowman, an event organizer, said there are 39 rib entries for the Buck-A-Bone and 20 entries for the backyard competition.

Funds raised at the contests will benefit the Special Learning Center (SLC) Foundation.

“It (the foundation) is there for our security,” said Debbie Hamler, SLC director. “The money in the foundation grows and then we can pull the revenue off of that to help with our operations. In the last couple of years, we’ve been running in the red in our general operations, so we’ve pulled the funds from the cook-off over to our general operating fund to help us break even.”

SLC has received funds raised at the Capital City Cook-Off since the event began, Hamler said. Over the years, the event has raised the foundation more than $70,000.

The SLC provides classroom instruction and comprehensive therapy services to children with special needs so they can better meet the challenges they face in life.

Hamler said volunteers from the SLC help with the event.

“The barbecue is great, people really love it and it’s very social,” she said.

Bowman said the kickoff is one-of-a-kind.

“It’s a great way to kick off the summer with great barbecue,” he said.

Tickets for Buck-A-Bone can be purchased for $15 at Hy-Vee, 3721 W. Truman Blvd., or at the SLC, 1115 Fairgrounds Road.

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