By Ann Cipperly
After months of canceled activities, three events were held in downtown Opelika Saturday. Burger Wars, Touch-A-Truck and Sweet Homemade Alabama Spring Show drew crowds as the aroma of grilling burgers drifted across North Railroad Avenue.
“It was a fantastic turnout, and I think people were ready to be out and do something fun,” said Dixie Broadwater, co-chairman of Burger Wars, adding that they ran out of burgers this year.
Presented by the Opelika Rotary Charitable Foundation, this was the seventh year for Burger Wars, with last year being a virtual event. Other co-chairs were John Sweatman, Kristen Ferrell and Torey Palmer.
Proceeds from Burger Wars go to the Food Bank of East Alabama’s Backpack Program for local food-insecure children. This is the fourth year the Opelika Rotary has adopted two schools, Southview Primary School in Opelika and Ogletree Elementary School in Auburn.
Funds are donated to purchase food for children who are food-insecure at those two schools. Each quarter, members of the Opelika Rotary pack the bags at the food bank. Every two weeks, members pick up the bags at the food bank to deliver to the schools for the food-insecure children to have on weekends, during spring break and other times when they are not able to get the meals available at school.
The Sweet Homemade Alabama Spring Show at Art Haus also benefited the Food Bank of East Alabama. A percentage of all sales will go to The Community Market.
As rain clouds were gathering in the afternoon, winners were announced in the Burger Wars competition.
Pro Division Winners were La Cantina, first place, the Country Club of Auburn, second place, and Niffer’s, third place.
Winners in the Corporate Division were Rock ‘N Roll Pinball, first place, Golden State Foods, second place, and John Sweatman, third place.
Taking honors in the Tailgate Division were Jericho and Rebecca Wilson, first place, Matt Robinson and Matt Richards, second place, and Chris Ficarra, third place.
Golden State also took first place in the Crowd Favorite Division. Café 123 received second place and Team Ficarra took third place.
“We want to thank our grillers and everyone who came out,” Broadwater said. “We can’t do this without them. Touch-A-Truck was great and the event at the Art Haus. It was a great day in downtown Opelika.”
Martha Henk, the executive director of the Food Bank of East Alabama, expressed thanks. “I love that a fun event that offers the enjoyment of great food to the community has the great purpose of extending the blessing and enjoyment of food to food-insecure children through the Food Bank’s Backpack Program.
“We are so grateful for all of the hard work that made this event such a success. It is support from the community that enables the Food Bank to have a major impact on addressing hunger, and we work very hard to be good stewards of the resources that are entrusted to us.”