Chris McGuire (left) and Ryan Odiorne (right) of the Valrico Rotary are hoping to raise $20,000 for local Brandon charities.

The word “palooza” is defined as “an all-out crazy party at one place with a large group.” Now if you throw in the word, “pig” with that, you’ll get “Pig-A-Palooza.” 

Pig-A-Palooza is a Southern-style barbeque event that the Valrico Rotary will host on Saturday, May 5, at Rotary’s Camp Florida in Brandon. The event will be from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The cost is $25 for an adult. The ticket price also includes one child up to the age of 12 with a donation of a canned good. Tickets for teens, ages 13-18, are $5. Military and first responders’ tickets are $20. Their ticket includes one active duty person, spouse or future soldier.

The event proceeds will go to many of the local charities in the greater Brandon area, including The Bill Carey Boys & Girls Club of Brandon, Faces of Courage, Rotary’s Camp Florida, the Emergency Care Help Organization (ECHO), LLT Academy Learning Fund and Life Care of Brandon.

“We talked to the Rotary about doing an event and we decided on a barbeque,” said Ryan Odiorne, president of the Valrico Rotary. One of the rotary members came up with the event’s name and Odiorne thought it was perfect.
“I thought it was a great name for the event because we are having barbecued pork,” Odiorne said.

The event is not just a charity event, but an educational event as well. The rotary is funding a project with LLT Academy that will teach students about hydroponics.

Chris McGuire, event chair for the rotary, said that the students are going to learn how to grow their own food.

“The school is going to set up a curriculum designed as an entrepreneurship where they will sell the produce to the parents of students,” McGuire said. “They will set up a stand in the school’s parking lot and as the parents pull in to pick up their children, they can purchase the produce.”

The Rotary hopes to raise $20,000 from the event. It is still looking for more sponsors as well as donations for raffle items. For more information about Pig-A-Palooza or if you would like to purchase tickets, contact Odiorne at 982-3726.

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Libby is a writer for The Osprey Observer/The Christian Voice. She started as an intern in 2009 and upon finishing her internship, she was asked to stay on as a permanent writer for both papers. Libby lives in Brandon with her two rescue dogs, Olive and Bogey.