Plates were piled high with delicious pulled pork and more at the annual WVLP 103.1 Hog Roast at Butterfield Pavilion at Fairground Park Friday night. With live ambient music, a selection of salads and pasta, grilled chicken, and a perpetually replenished table of home-baked desserts, the WVLP Hog Roast cranked tradition up a notch.
David Hemdal brought more than twenty years of experience including his Strongbow Inn expertise to the event. Mike Willard donated and prepped the hog, which was served in a sauce-it-yourself approach. Kevin Peterson of KP Catering dished up trays of veggies and hot and cold salads.
“It doesn’t happen without those guys,” said WVLP Executive Director Gregg Kovach. “You can see it’s quite a bit more than a regular hog roast.”
The community dinner is one of WVLP’s two annual fundraising events.
“The Hog Roast and Stars Over Valpo together bring in about forty percent of our yearly operating budget,” Kovach said of the listener-supported events. “We need donations to stay afloat, and we couldn’t do everything we do without the community support.”
Vivian Ross of Portage brought a table full of friends to the dinner to support the radio stations that she listens to on her computer while working, and also to support her daughter, WVLP Radio Host Teri Healy.
“I want to be supportive,” Ross said about the station. “If I can help them raise money, I want to help.”
From the gorgeous parks, public art, and theater to the charitable festivals and parties, Valparaiso is a community that pitches in to make life a little nicer for everyone.
“I love my city,” said Debi Zoumis, one of the hosts of WVLP’s Community Matters. “We have a wonderful city with so much going on.”
“People look out for each other,” said Jeff Small of Valpo, who attended his first WVLP Hog Roast Friday night. He went to support Zoumis, whose radio show he listens to every Thursday morning. “It keeps me informed on what’s going on in our community.”
As WVLP continues to expand its audience through online streaming, Kovach’s hope is that the Hog Roast is a community dinner that continues to welcome friends, both old and new.
“Listeners of WVLP and contributors bring their families and friends to the Hog Roast,” Kovach said, “So hopefully they’re bringing new listeners and new friends.”
“It’s not easy to keep a non-profit going, and WVLP has been going for 16 years, so we’re doing something right.”
If you’re looking for a new favorite radio show, want to learn more about how you can get involved, or if you missed the Hog Roast and want to contribute through an online donation, visit www.wvlp.org.