BROOKFIELD - The 23rd annual Strimbu Memorial fundraiser will be held starting at 5 p.m. May 2 at the Yankee Lake Ballroom as part of an effort to generate funds for the Strimbu Memorial Fund.
Event organizers said since its inception in 1990, the fund has raised close to $2 million, with more than $1.8 million awarded in grants to various community programs and scholarships to area high school students, with 99 percent of the proceeds of the events going to scholarships and grants.
"The Strimbu Memorial Fund was created to perpetuate the work of the late Tom and Nick Strimbu Jr., who had a passion for leading individuals and economic development agencies in order to attract, assist and retain the industrial base of the valley. When the fund awards scholarships to area students, we are investing in the life of a person and that is worth millions," Board President John Mastrian said.
The fund awards leadership scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each to qualified local high school seniors in 12 local school districts, with an additional $10,000 awarded to the overall leader. In addition, the fund contributes to economic development agencies and projects and selected humanitarian projects and programs.
Mastrian said annually the event draws a crowd of 1,600.
Mastrian said the event is also known for its giveaway of a bag of Vidalia onions to all those who attend.
"This tradition started as the Strimbu family always brought back Vidalia onions from the south to give to their friends," he said.
The event will feature both a silent and live auctions, with many unique items such as utility vehicles, travel packages, Lake Erie walleye fishing trips, Mick Jagger tickets, NASCAR tickets and assorted jewelry items.