04/13/14 — Barbecue for a good cause

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Barbecue for a good cause

By Matt Caulder
Published in News on April 13, 2014 1:50 AM

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Terry Light, winner of the 2014 Pig in Downtown contest, attempts to kiss a pig held by Matt Gernaat as Geoff Hulse, last year's winner, looks on during Saturday's Pig in the Park at Waynesborough Park in Goldsboro. Ms. Light raised more than $1,500, which will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Wayne County.

With a warm, sunny day and the promise of a tasty meal, Boys & Girls Club of Wayne County officials were optimistic about meeting their fundraising goal at the fifth annual Pig in the Park at Waynesborough Park.

Many area residents came out to enjoy the live music and activities available at the event as well as fill their stomachs with barbecue sold after the competitions were judged.

Each year, the event raises about $30,000 for the Boys and Girls Club, mostly from the sale of the barbecue, said Jo Heidenreich, development director for the Boys and Girls Club.

"We are hoping to hit that again this year," Ms. Heidenreich said. "The nice weather will help us out with that."

Boys and Girls Club Board President Rick Sumner was even more optimistic. He had his sights set on $40,000.

"It all comes down to how much of that barbecue we sell," Sumner said.

This year's Pig in Downtown competition, sponsored by the Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp., raised more than $4,000 for the Boys and Girls Club.

Contest winner, Terry Light, raised $1,500, winning an opportunity to make one pig's day with a kiss.

While the little pig was not too keen on being kissed on stage, Ms. Light made a valiant attempt taking over the reins as Boss Hogg from past winner Geoff Hulse until next year when she will try to win enough "lip" votes to defend her title.

"I really don't think he wanted me to kiss him, and I doubt we'll go on a second date," she said. "The whole event has been a success though. I always say that this community shows up 100 percent when someone needs it."

Martha Bryan finished a close second behind Ms. Light by less than $150.

A new winner rose to the top of the pork pile Saturday as having the official best barbecue in Wayne County.

The barbecue cook-off competition is held to benefit the club each year.

In the professional division, sanctioned and judged by the North Carolina Pork Council, J.J.'s Cooking Team took first by a snout when the competition came down to a tie for the first time this year.

To break the tie, the Council decided to choose the winner based on taste points, the highest-weighted category.

Pigs in Downtown took second place, with Old Hickory Cooking Team placing third.

Jerry Jeffreys, head of J.J. Cooking Team, went into the judging hoping for a third-place finish but surprised even himself by taking the whole hog.

Before the judging, Jeffreys said the competition is always fierce and he wasn't sure his pig would make the grade for the top prize.

"It comes down to the sauce and the skin," he said. "Our skin was cooked just a little too much, it was a little black on the edge. I would be thrilled with third."

His prediction proved false when he was declared winner of the competition.

Jeffreys wasn't fit to walk down to the stage after cooking all night, but his grandson gave him the news back at his cook-site.

"He came running up, little thing that he is, jumping around," Jeffreys said. "I think he was more excited than I was."

With a wide smile, the glow on Jeffreys' face from the win was still evident.

Jeffreys has competed with his own team in three Pig in the Parks and helped out another team in the years he did not have a team.

For taking first, he won $300 and a paid entry to the state championship NCPC competition.

Second place relieved $175 and third $150.

In the amateur division, a new winner dashed Goldsboro Parks and Recreation's barbecue cooking team's chances for a three-peat victory with its wood-fired grilling.

Big Belly's Cooking Team took first in the amateur division beating out nine other teams for the title of best backyard barbecue in Wayne County.

Billy Radford himself, head of the Big Belly's team, accepted the trophy for the team on stage.

Radford stayed up all night Friday tending his hog getting it on the grill around midnight, he said.

Before the scores were released, Radford felt confident in the effort he and his team put forward.

"I'm satisfied with it," he said. "We got pretty hogs and had a pretty night to cook."

To Radford, staying up all night to cook a hog isn't uncommon, in fact he was up last Saturday doing the same thing.

"We probably cook 20 a year," he said. "We make our own sauce and cook it with wood the old-fashioned way."

Old school definitely paid off for Radford this year as his team took home the first place trophy.

Wayne Community College's cook team took second place, with the Young Professionals taking third.