By RICK HAYES
---- — BLUFORD — One of the largest fundraisers of the year will be held in this Jefferson County village this weekend by a local organization.
Bluford Ruritan Club, in cooperation with the Webber Fire Protection District, will co-sponsor its fifth annual Ice Cream Social and car cruise-in.
The event, which will begin at 4 p.m., will be held Saturday at the Ruritan Building, just north of Bluford Grade School.
Additionally, for the third straight year members of the Kingsmen Auto Club are assisting the Ruritans with arrangements for the cruise-in. Registration will begin at 3 p.m. Cars will be parked on the Ruritan grounds. Door prizes will be awarded to registered cars and the first 50 participants to register will receive dash plaques.
"It's one of major fundraisers in that it's a joint venture with the Webber firefighters," said Ruritan Club President Chuck Pepple. "The firemen help us out by cooking up the hamburgers and hot dogs and then we share the profits."
Borowiak's IGA in Mt. Vernon is one of the major sponsors of the event, Pepple added.
Members of the club serve up several flavors of homemade ice cream during the event.
"We served 42 gallons last year, but we ran out," Pepple said. "We plan on having at least 50 gallons ready to serve this year. We don't want that to happen again."
Also during the event, raffle tickets will be sold with participants having an opportunity to grab some nice prizes. During past events, St. Louis Cardinals and Southern Illinois Miners tickets have been available, along with gift cards to local restaurants, golf outings, and more. Several people also entertain the audience by singing karaoke.
"We just keeping adding events to make it more community-oriented for everyone, and to get more people involved," Pepple said. "We've had good attendance the last four years and we're looking for another good event this year."
Proceeds from the event are used for maintenance of the Ruritan building, the local food pantry, and other community projects, including the Veterans Memorial at village hall.
In addition to Pepple, other officers of the club include Earl Robertson, vice president; Ted Gresham, secretary; and Kristie Dejournett, secretary. The club meets on the fourth Thursday of every month and conduct breakfasts on the fourth Saturday of every month, except December.