Alumni association’s Beef & Brew fundraiser draws a spirited crowd

FRANKFORD – If attendance, laughter, second and third buffet helpings, spirited bidding and fun in fundraising are an accurate gauge, it appears Beef & Brew is on solid ground.

Two hundred people – probably more – filled the Frankford Volunteer Fire Company banquet hall Saturday night for an evening of food, drink, auctions, socializing, music and dancing at Indian River High School Alumni Association’s sixth annual Beef & Brew.

“There is 225 seats and I didn’t see many chairs empty, so it’s got to be around 200 at least, maybe a little more,” said IRHSAA president Nancy Hickman.

Many Indian River High School graduates were part of one of the largest, if not the largest turnout for Beef & Brew – annually the alumni association’s largest single fundraiser.

Live auctions, orchestrated by entertaining auctioneer/IRHS alumnus Robert Kauffman, and silent auctions reeled in some big bucks as did the 50/50 and a special raffle for a Yeti cooler.

“We always get such great auction items. I can’t get over how we get so many wonderful packages,” said Ms. Hickman.

Main sponsors again were WSFS Bank, and Banks Wine and Spirits in Millville, along with the Frankford Volunteer Fire Company.

“The fire hall, they give us this room for a really good deal. So that is another one of the major sponsors,” said Ms. Hickman.

The food menu featured traditional Beef & Brew favorites: pit beef sandwiches, hot sausages, other sides and fixings and scrumptious desserts, all homemade and prepared by the Tribbitt sisters: Kim Roe and Tracy Wharton and helpers.

Entertainment included William Willey/DJ Next Generation, which preceded the Glass Onion band for three hours of music and dancing.

Beef & Brew proceeds fund the IRHSAA’s charitable tentacles, which include scholarships, support for IRHS students and teachers and other projects with ties to the alumni association’s alma mater.

“This year, we’ve supported the clubs,” said Ms. Hickman. “The robotics club was brand new and they needed a little seed money just to get started. So, we supported them with a donation. The Business Professionals of America, I think they are going to Texas. We have supported them. Some other clubs are coming along.”

In addition to scholarships for IRHS graduates, which are announced during commencement, the IRHSAA has instituted another adult education scholarship. “It’s for someone who is returning to school to finish their education. We’re going to do that again because that is really popular,” said Ms. Hickman.

The nonprofit IRHSAA formed in 2012 to connect alumni and support the local high school community.

Over that time, the alumni association has awarded nearly $32,000 in scholarships to both graduating students and IR alumni continuing their education; organized construction and funding for two school signs at the road entrances; donated money to various student activities; supported teacher projects and a staff recognition program; and revitalized the school’s Hall of Fame program.

“It’s a lot of work, but we had a really good team. And that’s what it is, the teamwork,” she said. “Everybody pitched in. There is a lot of auction items so it’s a lot of work. But with the team we have it really goes smoothly. We’re fortunate. This is the sixth annual, so I guess we’ll keep doing it until people don’t want to support it. But it looks like they do, so that makes us happy.”

For more information on the alumni association, visit www.IRHSalumni.com or email IndianRiverAlumni@gmail.com.

Indian River High School Alumni Association meets monthly and always welcomes new members. Registration is free online.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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