In the interest of fairness, I took the opportunity to contact the Knights of Columbus to give them a chance to respond to the concerns of BBQ goers this year. I talked with the Mark Holtschlag, Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus, and asked him some questions regarding the changes that were made for this year's event. His answers will shed some light as to why things were changed this year.

According to Mr. Holtschlag, there are normally two to four chairmen for this event each year. For a variety of reasons, none of the past chairman elected to hold the position this year. The work of the chairpersons usually begins weeks after the event ends.

Quoting Mr. Holtschlag, "with no one stepping up" to chair the event, the board members, after patiently waiting, needed to step in to do so. That didn't happen until late April and early May putting the organization of the event behind their self-imposed timetable. Already recognizing that they were without chair-people and trying to beat the clock, they also realized that they were going to be short of volunteer workers from the levels of past years as well.

They already had a contract with the carnival company and they wanted to make sure their were more kiddie rides which is also on their radar for next year. They also wanted to separate the kiddie area from the adult beverage areas as well which they did this year.

Their attempt to secure live music was made difficult due to the late start that they had and the food provided by Hy-Vee was the direct result of the lack of volunteer workers available to them to prepare food for the event.

It is the intention of the K of C to try to add more kiddie rides, bring back live music and keep the rides and adult beverage areas separate for next year. The food issue will depend on the amount of volunteers they can secure next year.

This event, like any other, is only possible with the help of volunteers.  If people don't step up to assist, it's difficult to maintain the momentum that this event has been able to muster.

One thing that does need to be remembered is that the KC BBQ is fundraiser and is meant to help charities, so when cuts are made, they were done to help the bottom line. That might not make BBQ goers happy, but it is the reality of the situation. If you want to "step up" for next year, the welcoming arms of the Knights of Columbus will be happy to greet you.

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