Memorial BBQ hands out bags of onions for 28th year at annual fundraiser

All proceeds go toward The Strimbu Memorial Fund, which provides scholarships for local high school seniors

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Strimbu Memorial Barbecue is not only one of the year’s biggest parties, but it’s also a way to reward high school students with college scholarships.

Coming up on Wednesday, May 3 at 5 p.m., this 28th annual barbecue will be held at the Yankee Lake Ballroom in Brookfield.

All proceeds go toward The Strimbu Memorial Fund, which provides scholarships for local high school students, supports economic development in Trumbull and Mercer counties and assists humanitarian efforts within local agencies and individuals.

Gary Hoff is on the committee that organizes the event. He explained what inspired the barbecue.

“It was in honor of Mr. Strimbu, who used to get his friends together in the spring, and this was in honor of him because he had such a local connection with economic development and keeping things going in the community,” he said.

Hoff explained that the scholarships have grown, with the organization now giving nearly $40,000 a year in scholarships. He said 13 local high school seniors will receive scholarships of $2,000 and one student will win a $10,000 scholarship.

The event is catered by Jeffrey Chrystal Catering.

“If you’ve ever been to a Jeff Chrystal event, you’ll know you’ll never run out of food. We start at 5 o’clock, and at 11 o’clock at night there’s still food out,” Hoff said.

He also said they usually cap the event off at 1,600 people. According to the organization’s website, the barbecue has sold out every year since its inception, with last year’s efforts raising about $200,000.

“You never wait in line and there’s always plenty of food,” he said.

One unique feature of the barbecue is the giftbags that are given to each attendee — a big bag of onions.

Strimbu Memorial Barbecue onions

“Mr. Strimbu used to bring a truck full of onions up to his friends every spring, and that became the little mainstay of the event,” Hoff said.

Tickets are still available for the barbecue, each priced at $90. You can either order them on the organization’s website or by calling any of its board members.

For more information about the organization and event, or to order tickets, visit The Strimbu Memorial Fund’s website.


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