Posted in: Event, RadiatorGrille

Radiator Grille 2021 Report by Ralph Mele W1DAR

Over all 85 people were signed up. Only 58 people signed in on Saturday. Some of the drop in attendance may be because we postponed the event for one week because of rain. We planned food for 80, so of course there was food leftover which was shared with some of the volunteers to take home. Soda, water, and packaged chips were left in the shack for members to use.

We had 5 tables set up in the usual area for seating and we used them all. We could have used a 6th.

Menu: Hamburgers (with and without cheese), hotdogs, macaroni salad, sautéed onions, individual packets of chips. Condiments were placed on each table. Dessert was individual ice cream cones, chocolate and vanilla. Drinks provided were various soda cans and individual water bottles.

Regarding tables: For the seating area, we used 3 of the large picnic tables and 2 six-foot folding tables; we used 4 folding tables around the serving area (one card table, 3 6-footers), and one 4-foot folding table at the portable radio station. The Club does not have that many tables. Thankfully some members were kind enough to bring tables and chairs for our use.

We set up 3 canopies over the seating tables and the cooking area. The club has one 8X8, one 10X10, and one 10X20. We could use one more 10X10.

John Holzapfel, our chef, set up a Field Day type radio station and antenna on the grass for people to use because the Shack was closed to everyone except working staff. The Shack was closed because of Covid and to make it easier for staff to replenish supplies as needed without impediments.

The Club bought a new-to-us Webber Grill 210 just before Radiator Grille this year. That and the grill and stove the chef brought gave us enough cooking surface to do the job. Just one grill would not be enough.

Because of Covid, we tried serving the food and drinks to people as they came up so they would not have to reach in with their hands to gather items they wanted. It didn’t work very well. There were only two of us working the serving line and cooking at the same time so we could not keep up. We ended up putting the soda and water out for people to get themselves. In the future, drink coolers should be placed by the seating tables for people to serve themselves.

The ice and coolers were provided by Patrick McFadden and Jerry Zaza.

John Cole provided water for drinking and washing. Our chef brought a container for washing water so we could wash hands and utensils. In the future I would put a washing water jug in the seating area for hand washing. We did have hand sanitizers on every table.

Before the event the board had talked about relieving people on the serving line so servers would not have to stay there the entire time. It did not happen and we did not have time to go round someone up. Also, we needed 3 people not 2 at the serving table. Next time we need to have names of people willing to relieve the people on the serving line. Due to Covid concerns, we did more serving than might be necessary in the future where our guests could help themselves to the food.

The event was advertised as being open from 11 am to 2 pm. Most people showed up between 11:30 and 12:30 so the cooking load was concentrated for that hour. There were some late comers around 1:30.

We tried something new in my memory. We had a door prize ( Amazon Ecco Dot) donated by Henry Seidner. Each family received one ticket upon checking in and the drawing took place at 1 pm.

Also new, we provided ice cream cones for dessert rather than store bought cookies. It seemed to go over quite well.

Shopping: we went to BJ’s, Costco, Restaurant Depot, Publix, and Gordon Food Service (GFS). Don’t do it. Other than soda and water, GFS was the most competitive. We were able to get most items there at one time. Publix is less expensive on soda and water if you buy when they have sales in early October. As the month gets closer to Halloween the sales are fewer so buy early but check dates on soda. I recommend buying cans as aluminum is readily recycled and it tastes better than soda in plastic.

Overall, I think the event went well and the food, mostly purchased at GFS, was of good quality and reasonably priced. Thankfully, the weather cooperated and most of the attendees enjoyed visiting with their fellow hams.

Many thanks to the volunteers who helped with the setup and takedown.

Recommendations: one person asked for burgers other than beef —turkey or chicken. Hard to do but something to think about. Another was sliced tomatoes. Again we would need to slice a lot of tomatoes that don’t keep well in the heat. We chose not to do it this year because of Covid. The macaroni salad wasn’t very popular, so next time consider baked beans, potato salad, chili, pickles. Chili would have to be made in advance. See following page for a breakdown of quantities bought and used.

Respectfully submitted,
Ralph Mele W1DAR

P.S. Special thanks to Henry Seidner who helped me throughout the entire process.


The numbers: We bought supplies for 80 people

Burgers and rolls				bought 80	used	60
Dogs and rolls (2 packages of 40)		bought 80	used	43
Macaroni Salad 1.5 pounds each			bought  5	used	  2
(The macaroni salad wasn’t very popular
I would try something else next time.)
Soda						bought 84	used	42
Water 						bought 72	used	 ?
Someone else brought small waters
So we don’t have a good count.  We 
have enough left for winter field day.
Onions	(just enough)				bought 9 lbs.	used 9 lbs.
American cheese 				bought 5 lbs. 	used 2 lbs.
5 pound package of sliced cheese  at
GFS was same price as 2 pounds at
Chips mixed Lays 1oz bags			bought 100	used 50
Ice cream Lil Drums, cones 24 pk		bought   2	used   2
Condiments (catsup, mustard, relish)		bought   4	used	4
(Placed 3 packs on tables)
Propane was on hand we didn’t buy 
any but we used 3 cans at a time.

Total cost:  $411.97