Center for the Inland Bays to hold barbecue to say 'thanks'

Throughout the year, countless volunteers donate their time and money to the Center for the Inland Bays, and this weekend the center wants to say, “Thank you.”

On Saturday, Sept. 29, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the CIB will host its Thanks for Giving Barbeque at the James Farm Ecological Preserve.

“We’ve been doing it for many years. We’ve just combined it in the past few years, making it a celebration of our volunteers,” explained Jenn Jones, the center’s development coordinator. “This isn’t a fundraiser as much as it is a thanks to our volunteers.”

The fun fall event will feature all-you-can-eat pork and chicken from Bethany Blues, oysters from Henlopen City and cupcakes from Anabella’s. Festive fall beverages will be served thanks to Banks Wines & Spirits, as well as Dogfish Head Brewery, while attendees can listen to Flatland Drive playing bluegrass music.

Tickets to the event cost $25 per person, while children 10 or younger under can attend for free.

“We’re going to have hayrides around the farm, and we’ll have one of our part-time staff helping to do little tours, looking at bugs, the fall leaves and telling a little about the farm. We’ll also have pumpkin decorating,” added Jones, describing the various kids’ activities offered during the event.

Jones said that the center has a couple hundred volunteers and that, without their help, the center would not be what it is. She said the barbecue is their small way of showing their appreciation.

“We have a staff of about eight, and without these volunteers we really couldn’t have the reach that we do in the community. They help with so many things — our oyster gardening program, our horseshoe crab survey, fish survey — they’re just indispensable.”

Jones added that she hopes the event will be well-attended and graced with beautiful weather.

“It’s our way of thanking everybody in the community for their support. We’re hoping for a nice sunny day and a good turnout. We have a lot of our volunteers coming, a lot of people from the public coming to help us celebrate. It’s a really great end-of-season event.”

For more information on the barbecue or to purchase tickets call (302) 226-8105 or go to James Farm Ecological Preserve is located on Cedar Neck Road in Ocean View.