DANVILLE — The 2017 Danville Lions Club Raccoon Dinner will be held Monday, Feb. 6, at the St. Luke’s Community Center, located immediately behind the Danville St. Luke’s Catholic Church. The main event will follow the band at 7:30 p.m. with a presentation by Navy Veteran and Ohio State Patrolman Bob Welsh.
The meal will be served from 4:30-7:30 p.m. on a first come, first served basis. At 6:30 p.m., the Devil Land Jazz Band will perform for the attendees across the street from the Community Center in the high school Auditorium.
A raffle drawing for a Marlin 45-70 Rifle will be held at the end of the program. Tickets are available at the door and at various location in Danville.
The Danville Lions Club will honor the memory of fallen Danville Police Officer Thomas Cottrell. Officer Cottrell lost his life in the line of active duty on Jan. 18, 2016. Net proceeds from the Raccoon Dinner, as well as from the gun and 50/50 raffle, will be put into a scholarship fund for Officer Cottrell’s children. Almost $10,000 was raised at the 2016 event toward the overall goal of $30,000.
Welsh is a master storyteller. He is a motivational and inspirational speaker with a lifetime of personal experiences. He served a tour of duty in the U.S. Navy, followed by a 29-year career as an Ohio State Trooper. He was tactical commander of the patrol’s elite special response team. Welsh is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and has authored two books. He has shared his stories for every conceivable type of audience, as well as around campfires across the nation, for over 40 years.
All are invited to come, relax, and enjoy his heart warming, humorous, educational and enjoyable presentation.
Clyde Banbury and Clyde Cornell started the first Raccoon Dinner. The meal was served in Banbury’s basement with 30 in attendance. After a few years, the annual dinner was moved to the elementary building at the school cafeteria since the interest in attending dramatically increased. As the event evolved, guest speakers were included as part of the program. There have been many notable and outstanding speakers such as Ohio Gov. Jim Rhodes, OSU head coaches Woody Hayes and John Cooper, Gordy Coleman (Cincinnati Reds), Jerry Razor (newscaster), Ed Johnson, Steve Newman, Andy Geiger, Bill Conley, Craig Krenzel, Greg Frey, Katie Smith, Matt Finkus, Bobby Carpenter, and many more. The largest attendance to the event was over 800 people.
At the dinner, almost 500 pounds of raccoon is served as the entree coupled with a full course setting of mashed potatoes, dressing, mixed vegetables, raccoon gravy, cake and a generous serving of fresh homemade cornbread. A limited amount of ham is prepared for those wishing to attend whose health may not permit them to consume the raccoon.
For information about the Raccoon Dinner, contact the Knox County CVB at 740-392-6102 or go online to www.VisitKnoxOhio.org.