ONTARIO — Among the host of annual events that has come to a halt over concerns of spreading the novel coronavirus COVID-19, another local tradition has been canceled: Ontario Kiwanians have decided to cancel this year’s Chicken BBQ.
The event, held at Beck-Kiwanis Park each September typically pulls in hundreds of people, and has been the largest annual fundraiser for the club for more than 40 years, according to a news release from the organization.
The club “met several times over the past couple of months to discuss other options to move forward,” however, in light of Governor Kate Brown’s mandates and restrictions surrounding the pandemic, they ultimately decided to cancel it.
“The decision was difficult for the club. However the safety of our community is our first priority,” said club President Guy Blair, in the release. “We appreciate the support given to the Kiwanis Club of Ontario for the work we do, but in the wake of COVID-19 we feel this is the best decision.”
Ontario Kiwanians aim to be back at their namesake park on Sept. 21, 2021 to serve up barbecue chicken. It’s noteworthy that the chicken has a rub on it that is so popular, some people buy 40 to 50 half chickens and store them in their freezers, past Kiwanian Club President Wayne Frey, previously told the Argus. Frey also said the whole event, which is put on by scores of community volunteers, is a testament to community support.
The club puts the money it raises back into community organizations, including Boys & Girls Club of Western Treasure Valley, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Treasure Valley Children's Relief Nursery. The club also offers scholarships to Treasure Valley Community College.