Archived Story

Volunteers make it happen

Published 5:18pm Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Some of the best barbecue and chili cookers around competed for top honors at last weekend’s Smoke on the Water festival in downtown Washington.

Trophies were awarded to the top finishers, but, once again, the biggest winner was the community that welcomed visitors from near and far for a taste of one the region’s most popular barbecue events.

By all accounts, this Smoke on the Water was as successful as any in the history of the annual event coordinated by Washington Noon Rotary.

The brainchild of Rotarian Pam Anderson, the event is run entirely through volunteer efforts.

Motivation for the countless hours of hard work goes well beyond good times and good food. It’s the good cause that drives most of those who were so giving of their time and energy.

The waterfront festival is a significant community fundraiser, benefiting local community initiatives such as the Greater Pamlico Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, Beaufort County Boys & Girls Club, Marion L. Shepard Cancer Center, Eagle’s Wings, Ruth’s House, The Blind Center of North Carolina, Little Washington Sailing School and more.

Those volunteers you saw parading around in pig-nose masks may look silly, but they make a real difference in their community.

And leading the way is Anderson, whose tireless efforts as director put the real pork in one of Washington’s signature events.

When the smoke settles, she gets little recognition for her hard work, aside from a standing ovation at Monday’s Rotary meeting. Of course, that’s not why she does it, but Anderson and others are well deserving of kudos, thanks and appreciation.

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