Return to tradition: Speech and Debate’s chicken barbecue returns

Students and teachers await the return of Speech and Debate’s annual chicken barbeque fundraiser


Riley Ramirez

WINNER WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER Speech and Debate students sell tickets to fundraise for the annual chicken barbeque. “It’s sort of a rite of passage for Speech and Debate students when they join the team to go out into the community and engage (with) our residents,” Mr. Jordan Mayer, Speech and Debate Director, said. “With this sales drive, it brings team bonding and really connects the school to the community.”

Occurring since 1968, Sept. 17 marks the day a highly anticipated tradition will be continued—Speech and Debate’s chicken barbeque dinner. Due to the pandemic, last year’s chicken barbeque fundraiser was cancelled. Led by the Speech and Debate Team, members look forward to running the fundraiser every year on the Friday before Homecoming. Although the goal is to earn a profit, the focus of this year’s dinner will be somewhat different.

“My number one hope for this year’s dinner is that we enjoy one another’s company,” Mr. Jordan Mayer, Speech and Debate Sponsor, said. “And it provides an opportunity for connection. It’s so important for our students and our town to have opportunities to connect. That’s my number one goal.”

The dinner is a volunteer-run event, serving approximately 2,000 people. In past years, those who purchased tickets were able to dine-in. Unfortunately, the only option this year is takeout. Despite looking different, there is no doubt that this year’s chicken barbeque will bring an especially meaningful impact that connects students with the community.

“I think when (students) see that we’re holding the dinner, it makes them feel that we’re returning to a sense of normalcy,” Mr. Mayer said. “It’s a very special feeling to know that those that came before us are still with us, and that there are multiple generations working together to make this a success.”