Teeth-pickin’ good: Janesville Noon Rotary plans corn roast

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Shelly Birkelo
Wednesday, August 6, 2014

JANESVILLE—Juicy sweet corn, muddy volleyball players and a bunch of friendly folks.

All of those combine to make the Janesville Noon Rotary Club’s corn roast and mud volleyball tournament a “great community event,” says Mick Gilbertson.

“The sweet corn is always fantastic; it’s a great day to meet different people in the community, and the mud volleyball teams are a blast to watch,” said Gilbertson, who is co-chairman of the event with Lissa Myhre.

The Saturday, Aug. 16, event marks the 20th anniversary of the service club’s largest annual fundraiser.

“Proceeds go to help fund all of our endeavors,” Gilbertson said, including 15 service projects.

Here are seven things you’ll need to know about the festival in Janesville’s Traxler Park:

1. Mud volleyball. Up to 43 teams will compete for the trophy starting at 8 a.m. You can watch the competition get down and dirty from a bleacher seat, nearby picnic tables, or your own blanket or lawn chair.

Rotarians are creating a new team village—a designated area specifically for volleyball players that will include bathrooms.

Club members also are making spa-quality mud for the athletes.

“We’re making sure it’s smooth and consistent and made from some of the best Rock County soil with no debris,” Gilbertson said.

2. Making the Grade. This high school honors program will recognize about 1,500 students who will be sophomores, juniors and seniors this fall at Craig, Parker and Milton high schools. Each student must maintain at least a 3.0 grade-point average.

Students will receive die-cast medallions at the 11 a.m. ceremony. Those who attend are eligible to win $50 prizes or a $250 certificate for post-high school education.

3. Live music. Three bands are scheduled to perform. They are Static Signal, a modern/hard rock band from Rockford, Illinois, at noon; Rou-Ga-Rou, a Janesville group that plays R&B, zydeco, Americana and rock, at 3 p.m., and Johnny Can’t Stop, a Janesville cover band, at 5:30 p.m.

4. Food. Some 20,000 ears of sweet corn donated by Seneca Foods will be served starting at 9 a.m.

“We never run out,” Gilbertson said of the free all-you-can-eat corn feast.

Available for sale will be pork sandwiches from the Rock County Pork Producers, pizza from Mac’s Pizza Shack, ice cream from the Rock County Dairy Promotional Council, brats, hot dogs, kettle corn, soft drinks and draft beer. The beer tent opens at 10 a.m.

5. Children’s activities. Children can burn off a little energy on an inflatable obstacle course and a large slide. Games will start at 11 a.m.

6. Raffle. About $3,000 in prize money will be given away, with winners announced between 5 and 5:30 p.m. People don’t need to be present to win.

7. Educational booths. The Rotary Youth Exchange and Kids Against Hunger—Rock County will be represented. The first program is a Rotary international student exchange that sends teenagers around the globe to experience new cultures. The second is a cooperative effort of the Beloit, Edgerton and Janesville Morning Rotary Clubs and Janesville Noon Rotary Club. It brings together volunteers to package nutritious, easy-to-prepare food for hungry people in Rock County and around the world.

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