HANNIBAL – Leaders of the Rib and Wing Festival Saturday at the Mark Twain Cave Complex are confident the Hannibal Free Clinic will receive at least $20,000 from this annual event, which is their main fundraiser.
"I past years, $20,000 was raised, and this should be a really good year," Clinic Manager Sharon Webster said at mid-afternoon Saturday as people continued to arrive. Admission was $15 for all the ribs and wings attendees wanted.
The weather was perfect, unlike last year when rain left the Mark Twain Cave grounds too wet for the event. Webster was pleased to have teams come from Hannibal, Palmyra, St. Joseph and Quincy, Ill.
Several of the 15 teams serving ribs and wings were doubly rewarded – in addition to supporting the Hannibal Free Clinic by participating, they took home trophies as winning teams.
The first to receive a trophy was the Ribs Gallery, which was presented the Mayor's Choice trophy by Mayor James Hark.
Ribs Gallery, led by John Sheffer and Mark Dowil, also won the judges' first place trophy for ribs.
The judges’ choice for first place wings team was Porkaholics, led by Aaron Curtis and Mike Meyers.
The People's Choice ribs winner was Mark Twain Brewing Co., led by Dave Alley.
The Hannibal Lock Pro, led by Steve Meyer, was the People's Choice winner for wings.
As they listened to music played by Leo (Wells Pettibone's band) and Steppen' Back, a few of the people trying the ribs and wings were asked their favorites. Stacey Mayfield and Tammy Hale both preferred Big Bro's wings and ribs.
Big Bro's team also was the favorite of a family of eight, whose children range in age from 6 weeks to 10 years. Adeline and Russell Johnson of Albany were camping at the cave campground when they learned about this event. "It was a very happenstance," Adeline Johnson said.
They had toured the Mark Twain Cave. Their family was joined by Hannibal friends, P.K. and Karessa Keyse and their children, Pierce and Grace, on Friday evening and again on Saturday. P.K. Keyse said his family liked the Rebel Pig and Mark Twain Brewing Co. food. The group planned to hike on the Sodalis Trail later.
Webster expressed her thanks for all the teams who participated and the people who attended and supported the Hannibal Free Clinic.
The clinic is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Appointments are required, Webster said, and the doctors volunteer their services on their days off. Appointments or information on the clinic are available at 573-248-8307.