The Stafford Township community gathered Sunday afternoon looking to raise money to support local food banks for the coming fall season.
"This is to help promote small businesses, but also it is all tied into the community. This event is bringing people out to socialize, to gather, to get together, wind down the summer and to kick off the football season," Councilman Henry Mancini said.
Lori Pepenella, the Destination Marketing Director for the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce, spearheaded this first annual fall gathering for the food banks.
"We really wanted to see if this is the kind of event people are interested in," she said, "this is benefiting seven different food banks, Ocean Community, Ken's Kitchen, Lacey, Barnegat, St. Stevens, St. Francis and Tuckerton."
Decked out in football regalia, everyone was enjoying pulled pork sandwiches and sides from Tim Kohlheim's Shore Fire Catering. Mark Keeler of MK productions provided the DJing and Skull and Bones entertained the crowd with melodic tunes.
After raising approximately $70,000 at the annual spring dinner, held at Sea Oaks Country Club, the Chamber were eager to do more for the food banks surrounding this area.
"We wanted to offset the spring dinner and do a little bit here and there to keep the word out; the food banks are always so appreciative," Pepenella said.
Keith and Cathy Gunsten, both 30-year residents of Stafford and members of the Chamber of Commerce brought their whole family out to enjoy the barbeque.
While Bob and Sammy Gunsten played corn hole; sand bags tossed into a hole in a wooden platform in order to score points, Keith discussed why he enjoyed this event.
"We're members of the chamber, this is a great event, and we like to party anyway?," he said, "It's just the fellowship of everybody, most of the time we have chamber events and we're all working. It's nice to enjoy everyone's company."