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Blues and BBQ Bash combats chemical dependency

May 18, 2019

Blues, barbecue, and a good cause too, mean that you can’t lose when you attend the 6th annual Cronin Home fundraiser. This year, it will be held on Saturday from 4-8:30 p.m. at the Olmsted County Fairgrounds’ 4H Building.

With all the barbecue you can eat, kids’ activities, a silent auction, and at least five different blues bands, the fundraiser will be a party that will help you grin ear-to-ear.

Since 1980, the Cronin Home has offered, “safe, sober, supportive housing for chronic, chemically dependent men and women who also struggle with homelessness and mental illness.” The home’s mission is to provide a protective and caring environment in which those men and women can recover.

Michael T. Frisch, the executive director for the Cronin Home, says that he sees the home bringing families back together. “Our facility unites families that have lost touch with each other through distrust,” he says. “Now families are seeing their lost loved one actually enjoying an improved quality of life that strengthens a long-lost hope for their relationship.”

This year, the money raised from the blues bash will be used to complete the replacement of individual room air conditioning units. In past years, the fundraiser has contributed about $10,000 on average to help support the home.

Beside raising much-needed funds, the event also creates community awareness about Cronin Home’s mission to support chemically dependent clients. Frisch says one of the greatest joys of the event is seeing former residents who are free from their addictions bringing their families to a fun gathering.

The all-you-can-eat barbecue, available for $15, will be provided by Team Wolfseeker Competition BBQ. “This is the quality that the sanctioned barbecue judges sample at Championship barbecue contests,” raves Frisch.

Nothing cures the blues like hearing the blues belted out, so Megan’s Duo, the Jambon Cru Reunion, the Tom Harkness Project, Dave Lambert, and the Mark Cameron Band will make sure that the crowd gets dirty guitar licks and the low-down bass lines that are certain to raise their spirits.

Ten-dollar raffle tickets (only $8 if you buy the barbecue dinner) will offer blues hounds and food-lovers the chance to win a four-day stay in a Grand Vu Lodge resort cabin at Leech Lake. Runners-up will be offered a Serenity Couture Spa package or five racks of smoked pork ribs.

If you can’t make it to the fundraiser, the Cronin Home always accepts donations of food, volunteered time, and financial support. Learn more about the home at www.thecroninhome.org.

“The best beverage served at the event is out of a keg,” jokes Frisch, quickly clarifying that the keg is full of 1919 Root Beer. Though the Blues and BBQ fundraiser, like the Cronin Home it supports, is sober in terms of substances that can cause chemical dependence, it’s anything but in terms of its fun-loving and energetic approach to celebrating life.

The bash is the perfect way to have a good time while doing good for our community.