San Benito Lifestyle

79th Annual Barbecue at Tres Pinos’ Immaculate Conception Church

125 year old church will have its annual Chicken Barbecue Sun. Oct. 15

This article was written by Joan Sattler, Member of the Altar Society, Immaculate Conception Catholic Community.


The Immaculate Conception Catholic Community announces its 79th Annual Barbecue Fundraising Event Sunday, October 15th from Noon to 5:00pm

This Historic Church’s site is located at 7290 Airline Highway in Tres Pinos. Diners may enjoy Barbecue Chicken and Pasta (with all the obligatory secret sauces), Greener than Green Salad, French Bread that doesn’t stop, a variety of desserts and assorted refreshments –all this while relaxing under majestic trees in the picnic area, or, enjoying dinner and striking up new friendships in the beautifully decorated Immaculate Conception Hall.

During the course of the day, they’ll be the always fun raffles, “Walks for Prizes”, the White Elephant Treasures’ Sale and an abundance of games for children.

We are honored to let the community  know  that Ed De Groot – a phenomenal talent and friend – known to almost everyone who has ever  heard of San Benito County,  will be entertaining event attendees in an outdoor setting between 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm

That’s the Day: Food-Fun-Visiting-Promises of seeing one another soon – “Good-bye, drive safely” . . .

Behind the Scenes . . .

But let’s listen in on those thoughts of a number of the Volunteers who are committed to carrying out this year’s 79th Barbecue:

 Brenda Zanger said, “The first thing that struck me when I assumed the Co-Chairmanship with Lourdes Langford was the dedication of the volunteers. I am so touched by all the giving that comes from our tiny Immaculate Conception Community. The chairpersons and volunteers come back year after year to pitch in to make the annual Barbecue a huge success, raising a significant amount of money to maintain our 125 year old Church. As a matter of fact, the majority of the Chairpersons have been volunteering for this event for over 30 years! So really, these knowledgeable, hardworking volunteers have made our leadership role easy and so pleasant.”

Father Heibar Castañeda said, "I have known about this event for 25 years and, like many others from close and far, I look forward to it year after year and can't imagine a year without it.”

Bea Chang, who will be directing the efforts of the Major Raffle agrees.  “We are so happy to be considered  a “destination” Barbecue, where families come from all the over the region or return  to visit us year after year after they’ve moved," Bea Chang said.

Co-Chair Lourdes Langford added that life-long friendships have been made during this deliciously fun afternoon. She said, “Why, families put vacations on hold to be here.  It’s great food, yes, but to quote ‘Fiddler on the Roof’, ‘It’s Tradition.’”  And today’s tradition,  Lourdes noted, “Some of our parishioners have worked during the Barbecue for so over 50 years. This may be the only activity they participate in and participate they do. It’s the Hubbell families, the Dooling families, it’s a little bag of herbs and seasons- a sprinkle of this or that . Nobody really has the full extent of the recipes. It’s handmade paddles, stirring the secret sauce. And above all, it’s a respect for the Barbecue leaders which ranges from 21 to 97 years.” 

Lourdes, interested in the history of the region, noted that Immaculate Conception was founded 125 years ago, primarily to meet the needs of the New Idria Miners who would travel all day back and forth to Sacred Heart, or, decide to forgo Church all together. Homesteaders developed the area and Homesteading families founded Immaculate Conception, on December 8, 1892.

Mary Hubbell, a descendant of one of those pioneering families has been the general chair for over 38 years.  She has recently stepped down, but is always there to answer any question that might be posed. This year her self-imposed title is “Green Salad Maker.” Mary enthusiastically agrees with Lourdes that individuals get caught up with the Barbecue who do not get involved in other aspects of Parish life. “Catholics and all their friends and families from other denominations, just know that the 3rd Sunday in October is very special. People are drawn to the excellent food, the fun, the super raffle prizes and for the special White Elephant Treasure Trove. What results is an extremely positive influence – for the parish and for the vast community of attendees," said Mary Hubbell.

Patsy Pence, Chairperson on the Pastoral Council, is particularly interested in the strong volunteer base enjoyed at Immaculate Conception. This year, as in the past, she chairs the Barbecue’s servers. Pence said,“It’s Camaraderie. It’s everyone working together. It’s so much fun to see everybody. A two hour shift becomes the whole day, and, then a clean-up shift.” Patsy stresses this is strictly by choice and that by volunteering a person is not “held hostage”. Patsy says she has overheard attendees say, “This looks like fun. Why don’t we do this next year?”   (On a personal note, Patsy’s sons have all pitched in and this year, a former parishioner is returning from her home in Texas, to “work the Barbecue”.)

As pastor of Immaculate Conception, Father Heibar is in awe of his parishioners. “This is an amazing event. Everyone comes together to eat, to visit, to have fun. This is what contributes towards the building of strong communities.”

Stephanie Hicks is so proud of the 27 youthful members of her Confirmation class who will have the oversight for the Children’s Games. “Being part of this Event, helps youth appreciate the importance of volunteerism, of being goal-oriented and of serving as models for others," Hicks said.

 Sunday Oct. 15 from Noon to 5:00 p.m.                                                                                                                                                                               

Adult Dinners:        $16.00

Children’s Dinners: $9.00

Take Out Available

For Information, please call the parish office at (831) 628-3216                            

Throngs of people say “We’re here for the Barbecue’ when in reality, they’re saying ”we’re here for each other,” said Joan Sattler, Member of the Altar Society, Immaculate Conception Catholic Community. Sattler summed it all up saying, “The best way to enjoy an event is to participate in its success”








BenitoLink Staff