The sun was setting and the night was warm as Ron and Brenda Kuhn enjoyed the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity’s annual hog roast on Friday night along with a small crowd of fraternity members and their families at Valley Court Park in East Lansing.
The Kuhn’s drove about an hour from their Kalamazoo, Mich., home to be with their son, Matt, and enjoy pulled pork, salad, desserts and lawn games, with proceeds from the event’s ticket sales benefiting Michigan AgrAbility.
Tickets for the event cost about $8 per person.
Michigan AgrAbility assists farmers and agricultural industry members around the state who struggle with disabilities or injuries from accidents or illness. The company helps farmers and their families manage and deal with problems ranging from blindness to arthritis while working in the fields and around farms, according to its website.
Ron Kuhn said he and his wife attend other philanthropic events put on by the fraternity and said they were happy to make the drive to East Lansing.
“It seems like they do quite a bit,” he said when discussing the fraternity’s outreach efforts. “They are very well-connected.”
In past years, agribusiness management senior and fraternity member Blake Laethem said his fraternity has raised about $2,500 to $3,000 toward Michigan AgrAbility.
As a fraternity rooted in agricultural heritage, the effort is a worthwhile one, he said.
“Coming from a fraternity that bases itself on agriculture, it’s great to give back to a cause,” he said, adding that most members of the fraternity hope to work in the state’s agricultural industry one day.
Laethem said group members expected to raise more than $2,000 this year as well, but final members were not available this weekend.
In the opening minutes of the roast, fraternity members played lawn games, such as cornhole, and served food to visitors as the sun set on East Lansing and laughter filled the air.
Laethem expected a substantial number of people to attend the two-and-a-half hour dinner.
“We think the weather will help, too,” he said.
Agribusiness management senior and fraternity president Dustin Baker said although the hog roast is the fraternity’s largest and most lucrative philanthropic event, the group makes other efforts to reach out to the East Lansing community, including canned food drives and area running events.
“Every member in the house is required to do one philanthropy (event) a year in addition to the hog roast,” Baker said. “Those are usually successful.”