WHEELING - In its 83rd year of service to the community, the Poodles Hanneford Tent of the Circus Saints and Sinners Club of America is busy planning yet another fundraising event to benefit local charities according to tent president Jeff Yourkovich.
On the evening of May12, Oglebay Resort's Levenson Shelter will be transformed into "pork and pickin'" central as the group welcomes Ohio Valley fan-favorite The Fabulous Bender Boys to the fifth installment of the Party in the Park fundraiser.
"The Bender Boys are hugely popular, combining old school and new with their unique "Benderized Country" sound," said Yourkovich, referring to the unique "bender" style guitar playing that is similar to the playing styles of Ricky Skaggs, Steve Wariner and Marty Stuart. "They really are fabulous and where else can you hear AC/DC and Sugar Ray along with classic country and bluegrass?"
In addition to great music, and fresh from the Kentucky Derby Festival, the event includes the local debut of Martins Ferry-based Jeanne's Bourbon Street BBQ, a 53-foot restaurant on wheels. The mobile eatery, affectionately known as "the big pig rig" will be serving a menu of roasted chicken, smoked pork loin, twice baked potato salad and green beans.
Primary sponsor of the event is Perkins Restaurant and Bakery with additional sponsorship provided by Carenbauer Distributing, Main Street Bank, Broadwater Properties, Gary Dietz Allstate Insurance and Nini's Treasures, Pickle's Grog and Grill, and Panhandle Cleaning and Restoration.
Proceeds will benefit the Patients' Assistance Fund at the Schiffler Cancer Center of Wheeling Hospital. The fund provides for patient and family needs including medical wigs and other aesthetic services for patients dealing with the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment, transportation costs, overnight accommodations, and other treatment associated costs.
Where most social or fraternal organizations have chapters, the Saints and Sinners groups are called "tents" in reference to the canvas tent used to house the audience at a circus performance.
The club is a non-sectarian, non-political association of successful business and professional men dedicated to fellowship and charitable giving. The members-due to their human imperfections-represent "sinners," who strive to be "saints" of mercy by helping those less fortunate.
In the early years, the focus was on providing aid to indigent and aged circus performers in need of financial assistance. However, because of the decline of the traditional traveling circus, the tents now contribute to a multitude of recognized worthy charitable organizations.
Founded in 1929, the local club has amassed an impressive track record of raising large sums of money and donating to numerous local causes.
"Over the years, we have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for many different charities," said event chairman Dean Connors. "In the past ten years alone, we've donated more than a quarter million dollars to groups such as WVU Children's Hospital, the Soup Kitchen, Boy Scouts of America, Family Service, and we recently donated $40,000 to The Miracle Field."
Tickets are $20, and include food and beverages. They can be purchased at Pickles Grog & Grill on Fulton Street in Wheeling, Yourkovich and Associates on Kruger Street in Elm Grove, Grindhouse Cafe in downtown St. Clairsville, Security Travel on Main Street in Wheeling or by calling 304-639-0958.