Barbecue Marks Rockdale United Way's 1st Fundraiser In '12 Campaign

CONYERS -- United Way of Rockdale County will host its first major fundraising event of 2011 Thursday with its 11th annual barbecue luncheon. The barbecue will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is sponsored by Jim 'N Nicks Bar-B-Q.

"One of the major outcomes of the barbecue is it is truly a sense of community where individuals come together to work hand-in-hand and arm-in-arm to support projects in the community," said Claire Cline, southern regional director for the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta.

If You Go

What: 11th annual United Way Community Barbecue Fundraiser

When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday.

Where: Rockdale Career Academy, 1064 Culpepper Drive, Conyers.

Cost: $10 per plate, dine in or take out.

For more information: Contact the Rockdale United Way office at 678-623-2857.

The first United Way barbecue in 2000 served 125 plates. Last year, it served 2,300.

"We hope to sell as many as we did last year, if not more," Cline said. "We can take the numbers up to 2,400."

Prep and distribution of the meals will be done at Rockdale Career Academy in the school's culinary arts area at 1064 Culpepper Drive in Conyers. Volunteers are expected to deliver 1,100 lunches, and another 900 lunches will be pick-ups.

"It's a community event. And that's what we encourage folks to come and be a part of it," Cline said. "Over the course of the day, you're going to cross paths with about 600 people."

In the past, the BBQ has raised between $22,000 and $24,000, according to Cline. She said the United Way hopes to raise a similar amount this year.

"The money that is raised is invested back in this community with agencies and programs that are focused in the United Way -- health, homelessness, income and education," Cline said.

Orders will be taken through mid-day Wednesday. Orders can be placed by contacting the United Way office at 678-623-2857.

"A volunteer shared with me last year, a quote that really sums it up: where else can you have a good Jim 'N Nick's lunch as well as know that the money will be turned around and used in the community for a common good," Cline said.