A BBQ Tradition for 65 Years
No, we’re not talking about the wonderful families and our great friends who have been helping us raise over two million dollars for the betterment of the Lancaster Community.
We’re not talking about the tradition of keeping the Lancaster Sertoma Club’s “Secret Sauce” a secret.
And we’re not making a reference to the happy smiles on the faces of children and adults alike who have thrilled seeing our giant mascot, Lanser, every year at the park on BBQ Day.
The tradition referenced here doesn’t even take place on the big day. The event stands alone as unique to the stage as the World’s Largest Chicken BBQ is to a community park. Its important job is to point volunteers, sponsors and Sertoma members to the famous event by motivating those in the audience to sell, sell, sell their BBQ tickets in advance of the big day.
The Lancaster Sertoma Kick Off Show is as old as the BBQ itself. It began with just a handful of members including such creative giants as Paul “Rip” Ripple and Frank Filling who were later joined by Frank Broderick, Mort Brodsky, Chuck Isenberger, Bill Forrey, Chuck Frey, Tiny Wright, Charley Snyder, Norm “Uncle Norm” Yunginger and others who brought their own humor and talents to the project.
Then in 1987 the Kick Off Committee, looking to get young members involved in club activities, asked newbie Bill Hager to lend a hand. He hasn’t walked away since. Together with Mr. Broderick and Mr. Isenberger and the help of Walt Legenstein, the Kick Off project eventually transitioned from the speakers platform at the ELKS Lodge to both the Fulton Opera House and the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre. Along for the ride have been numerous men and women whose performances have generated truckloads of laughter and memories. During these more recent years, we have to thank the insanely, wacky talents of people like Wade Pratt, Charlie Feyock, Joe Hoffman, Ellis Kimmich, Joe Molony, Chip Snyder, June Chipman, Jim Martin and of course, the one — the only Steve Olin.
These performances were supported by an outstanding stage crew most often represented by generous men such as Jim Arnold, John Feyock, Jerry Richards and Frank Black. Even tremendous outside talented performers gave of their time and energy. Friends of Sertoma such as Doug Allan, Carmen Richards, Tom Richards, Kelly Claffey Forbes, Lindsey Hager, Sandy Hershey, Tammy Smith Jacobs, Marcus Hall, Nate Rush, Kelly Mann and many more brought us hilarious evenings of fun such as The Gizzard of OZ, The Hunchback of Poultre Dame, Chickens of the Caribbean, Chickenstein and our version of The Little Mermaid that we called Chicken of the Sea.