Port City Proud hosted a barbecue competition June 1 at The Triangle Lounge, raising nearly $5,000 for the Wilmington Eagles, a local Pop Warner football team.
Port City Proud was founded following Hurricane Florence when a group of building and construction professionals banded together to help clear debris and trees from yards at no cost to homeowners. Co-founders Tegan Harmon and Jessica Miller said that during that time they received over $25,000 in donations, which they gave to the Wrightsville Beach-based nonprofit organization, Hope from Helen, to distribute to local charities.
Harmon said Port City Proud has continued to help with yard restoration, with about seven yards still to go, and the organization is always looking for volunteers.
Saturday’s event featured nine teams preparing their best barbecue, with food items donated from local restaurants such as The Sawmill, Saltworks, Moe’s Original Bar B Que and Bill’s Front Porch.
Harmon, who raises his own pigs and donated much of the meat for the event, said the idea for the Port City Pig-Off came from the fact that he had several pigs that were ready to be slaughtered.
“I figured this was a good way to continue to grow our organization and support the community,” Harmon said. “I just get these ideas, and once I put the word out I’m fortunate to have friends that help make things happen.”
For $10, guests received food as well as raffle tickets for a variety of door prizes and the chance to cast their vote for the best barbecue. With nearly 350 guests in attendance, Harmon said the event brought together about twice as many people as he anticipated.
“It just goes to show you how the community really does come together to do good,” said Lauren McEntee of The Triangle Lounge.
The People’s Choice Award was given to the team from Jimmy’s at Red Dogs of Wrightsville Beach, while a panel of judges cast their votes for the team from Moe’s Original Bar B Que. Both teams were awarded cash prizes, and both donated their winnings back to the Wilmington Eagles.
While the Eagles knew they were going to be the recipients of the 50/50 raffle drawing, they didn’t know that the organization planned to give them all of the earnings from the ticket sales and donations as well.
“This has changed our upcoming season to the fullest,” Eagles coach Jermaine Shaw said. “It is a great, great thing for us and allows us a lot of breathing room as we start the season.”
Harmon said he plans to continue to host Port City Proud events in support of community organizations, and is exploring nonprofit status for the group. Anyone interested in volunteering with Port City Proud can contact them via their Facebook page.
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