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Another corn, brat success

Lions sell about "five acres of corn"


(click for larger version)

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August 17, 2011 | 08:04 AM
WILLIAMS BAY —"Have you tried the corn yet? It's to die for. This is real good corn," Sharon Conklin said to a passerby.

Although from Fontana, Conklin was complimenting the corn at the Williams Bay Lions Club Corn and Brat Roast.

Conklin said she comes to Williams Bay "pretty much every year," to support the Lions Club and, of course, to eat the corn.

She was among hundreds who crowded into Williams Bay's Edgewater Park on Saturday to enjoy the sun and food. A brief downpour in the early afternoon did little to dampen spirits.

Doug "Swanny" Swangren, master bratwurst roaster, said the Johnsonville brats are precooked, but they still needed a touch of TLC to be sold at the festival.

Within a large black metal grill, the brats were steeped in beer and soaked with onions for that final, special, corn-and-brat roast flavor. Swangren carefully tended the sausages, occasionally taking one out and cutting it up for fellow Lions to taste test and pronounce their readiness for the bun.

Swangren said the Lions sell between 5,000 and 6,000 brats a year "and five acres of corn."

The corn is bought from the local Pearce Farms in Walworth. Sales of individual ears also runs about 10,000 a year, Lions officials said.

Barb Toyton said a majority of the pastries and desserts for sale at the Lionesses' booth were homemade, although some of the pies were bought from bakeries.

It is the Lionesses' only fund raiser of the year, said Kendra Knight, who organized this year's dessert sale.

For the past four decades the annual Williams Bay Lions Club Corn and Brat Roast has meant good food for a good cause.

Money the Lions collect from the corn and brat sales goes right back to the community,

Annually, the Lions donate about $5,000 toward scholarships for Williams Bay High School students.

The club also donates for the high school year book and prom; to pay for students attending Badger Boy's State; buying large print books for the Williams Bay library; for summer recreation programs; for food baskets for the needy and to help pay for the School District's DARE program.

In 2008, the Lions made a commitment to pay for lights at the Williams Bay High School football field. Lions club members said the club has another year or two of payments to make on the lights.

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