Area fire department holds inaugural event

KERSEY – The first annual Smoke on the Mountain Annual Benefit cookoff was held over Friday and Saturday at the Fox Township Fire Department in Kersey. Joe Kugler, Lieutenant 32, of the Fox Township Fire Department, said the idea is to enjoy some good food and good company. Kugler was one of the main contacts for the event along with Ron Deahl, the chairman of the barbecue committee. "It’s where participants can come in, either professionals or semi-professionals or the backyard barbecuer," Kugler said. "We have different teams set up here. We’re just all friends having fun, a great deal of camaraderie. We’re just cooking all day. They’re going to be judged in ribs, beef brisket and halves of chicken."State Representative Matt Gabler was one of the judges along with St. Marys Fire Chief Bill Kraus, Scott Surra, the "mayor" of Kersey, Jamie Dowie and a wild-card judge which people could sign up to volunteer for. Kugler said there would be $100 prizes for each category and a $100 prize for the overall winner. "It’s a new annual event," Kugler said. "We’re trying to do our best with recruiting for this. We got a lot of volunteers with us. Most of these people are donating their time and money for Fox Township Fire Department. Our average age of our fire department is 50. It’s just a good time. This is replacing field day. All 11 teams signed up for next year and it’s going to be the same weekend next year. It’s a new event for the area."