Historic organizations raise money for emergency assistance fund

  • Published
  • By James Branch
  • 94th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
An event that has become a staple here, the annual Corn n’ Sausage Roast, was held July 18 at Verhulst Hall. All proceeds from the event go to the Dobbins Emergency Assistance Fund.

Organizers of the event presented a check for $1,901 to the Dobbins Airman and Family Readiness Office on August 2. The Dobbins Square and Compass Club raised $901 from meals sold, and contributions from donated quilt and afghan giveaways. The Dobbins Thrift Store donated $1000 from their sales revenue.

The thrift store, a major contributor to the event, has been on base since the early 1980s, according to Nance Black, its manager for the last 34 years. It operates on donations, and also takes goods on consignment.

The origin of the Corn n’ Sausage Roast is a unique one. The Dobbins Square and Compass Club, a historic masonic organization, once held an annual picnic on base exclusively for its members.

“Although the date of establishment of the Dobbins Square and Compass Club and its annual picnic are unknown, notes from plans and meeting minutes date back to 1961,” said Ron Durant, event planning committee member, and retired Dobbins alumni.

After many requests from base personnel to include members outside of the club in their annual picnic, it began selling tickets to the event, and made it a fundraiser in 2003.

In 2004, John Ritter, former director of Dobbins Airman and Family Readiness, asked the picnic committee to pay an electric bill for a Dobbins employee who had fallen ill, and was on leave without pay. The committee graciously donated the money raised from that year’s picnic, and thus the annual Dobbins Corn n’ Sausage Roast was born.

Each year, with base commander support, the event committee has sought to bring the Dobbins community together for a meal and camaraderie, and has raised over $26,000 in emergency assistance funds.

The Dobbins Emergency Fund operates under the same guidelines as the Air Force Aid Society, according to Angela Pedersen, current director of Dobbins Airman and Family Readiness.

The money is available for Reserve members who have an emergency situation and through no fault of their own, end up in financial crisis.

For Dobbins members, the event continues to serve as a place of belonging, giving, and reuniting.

For information on how you or your organization can be a part of the annual Dobbins Corn n’ Sausage Roast, or for more information about the Dobbins Emergency Assistance Fund, please call 678-655-5004.