MEYER, Ill. -- The Red Dog Saloon has raised almost $60,000 for Fishing for Freedom over the last three years, making the small-town bar's Fishing for Freedom fundraiser one of the most successful in the country.
The Saloon raised $15,000 its first year; $21,000 its second; and $23,000 last year. The goal for this year is $25,000.
"Meyer has eight residents, and the Saloon has 32 barstools," said owner Kathie Palmer. "I don't know if it's the location that makes this event so popular or what. It draws people from across the tri-states, and there are people that come down for this event that have never been to Meyer before."
This year's fundraiser will be held Saturday, Sept. 8. Palmer expects 500 to 700 people to come through the tiny unincorporated community throughout the day.
"They're our No. 1 supporter," said Randy Gengenbacher, Quincy Fishing for Freedom coordinator. "We cannot put this event on without their assistance."
Festivities will kick off at 9 a.m. with the sand volleyball tournament. Entrance into the tournament costs $100 per team. A cornhole tournament will follow at 11 a.m. Entrance into the tournament costs $25.
"It's one more party before harvest starts," she said. "It's one last hurrah, and then it's time to get in the field."
Families are encouraged to attend. There is a kids' area, and several prizes will be given to kids throughout the day.
Palmer said the silent auction generally features at least 150 items, all donated by local businesses and community members.
"The bags tournament usually brings in $5,000 or so, and volleyball brings in another $5,000," she said. "It all adds up."
There will be live music from noon to midnight. Performers will include Solomon Sage Band, Tim Hart Acoustic, and Staggard, in that order. Catfish po'boys will be available. Palmer said 130 pounds of catfish are cooked for the event.
Commemorative T-shirts and other apparel will be available. The event will be held rain or shine.
"I think word has spread that this has grown into a solid event," Palmer said. "It gets people out in the country to just sit down and relax for the day."
Update 3:42 p.m. Sept. 5, 2018: The Red Dog Saloon’s fourth annual Fishing for Freedom fundraiser Saturday has been moved to the Eagles Club, 3737 N. 5th, in Quincy, due to weather. The annual volleyball tournament will be held at a later date. All other events will still be held, and music will begin at noon.