What started out as a simple homemade chicken seasoning has become an addiction for more than 1,000 Sheboygan-area residents every year.
The University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan’s Chicken & All That Jazz scholarship fundraising picnic feeds 1,500 people every year with its original and “secret” recipe grilled chickens. This year’s event will again have people flocking to the campus on Wednesday, August 6, 2014, from 4:30 to 8 p.m.
The recipe started with the advent of the fundraiser way back in 1986. Since then, the event has become the hallmark fundraiser for the UW-Sheboygan Foundation, which uses event proceeds to provide area students with scholarships at UW-Sheboygan and to help support campus improvements and programming.
“When the UW-Sheboygan Foundation’s founding members got together to devise an annual fundraiser, they wanted to have something different – something that would stand out among the many other food-oriented fundraisers in the area throughout the summer,” said Carrie Hoppe, UW-Sheboygan Foundation Executive Director. “With the help of Harold Lindemann, he and his secret chicken seasoning helped create the now popular community fundraising picnic, Chicken & All That Jazz.”
Lindemann was the former co-owner of H&V Catering, a former Sheboygan County supervisor, and a former board member for the Town of Wilson.
According to Hoppe, the combination of the tasty seasoning coupled with the unique sound of Dixieland Jazz created an event that the community latched on to and continues to support in earnest.
“Over the years, this fundraiser has just continued to grow and grow,” Hoppe said. “It’s so wonderful to see such a diverse audience come out to enjoy this event and show their support for higher education in Sheboygan County.”
This year’s event will be held on August 6 on the scenic 70-acre UW-Sheboygan campus and will be held rain or shine. Chicken & All That Jazz 2014 will feature live Dixieland jazz music throughout the evening courtesy of the popular Rhythm Aces and the renown HUGE grilled chicken dinner, complete with a half chicken, fresh roasted corn and all the extras.
Beer and soda will be sold separately but available all evening. Dinner will be served from 4:30 to 8 p.m., with musical entertainment provided until 8:30 p.m.
Each year, all the funds raised from Chicken & All That Jazz are returned to area residents in the form of UW-S Foundation New Student and Continuing Student Education Grants and other awards to assist them in achieving their college and education goals.
“The UW-Sheboygan Foundation started this event more than 25 years ago to raise funds to help our local residents attend college without the concern for tuition expenses and to reduce student debt, and that hasn’t changed,” Hoppe added.
What has changed over the past two decades is the demand for local financial assistance for students attending college. The UW-Sheboygan Foundation has responded by growing its annual scholarship budget to more than $100,000 – all of which goes to local students who are starting their college educations in Sheboygan County.
“These scholarships, which are made possible by Chicken & All That Jazz can make a student’s dream come true – from being able to still feed their families while attending classes or simply avoiding any debt while completing their first two years of college,” Hoppe said.
Since UW-Sheboygan is one of the 13 UW Colleges campuses across the state, it offers students the lowest tuition rate in the UW System, along with foundation classes in more than 250 majors with quality professors who care about their students’ success.
“All Chicken & All That Jazz guests should know that their contribution will make a difference in a local student’s life,” Hoppe added.
Many area businesses and groups faithfully attend Chicken & All That Jazz each summer as Corporate and Reserved Table sponsors. Reserved tables are available at an additional charge for groups in a special area, putting them in a prime location right near the band and food tents. Pre-purchased soda and drink tickets are also available for groups.
“The UW-Sheboygan Foundation invites area businesses and groups to hold their company picnics or parties at Chicken & All That Jazz. Anyone can reserve a table – from a birthday party to a local non-profit board,” Hoppe added. “This way, you and your guests or colleagues enjoy a group gathering without the setup or cleanup work – and at a truly affordable cost.”
Tickets for the event are $17 each in advance or $20 at the door. Advance ticket purchases are encouraged.
Tickets are available at all area Piggly Wiggly stores including Sheboygan (north side location only), Howards Grove, Cedar Grove, Plymouth, Oostburg and Sheboygan Falls, as well as Woodlake Market in Kohler and Festival Foods in Sheboygan. Tickets also can be purchased at the UW-Sheboygan Business Services Office, from any UW-Sheboygan Foundation member, at Van De Kreeke & Associates in Sheboygan or by contacting Hoppe at (920) 459-6612 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
UW-Sheboygan is located off Taylor Drive on University Drive. Parking for the event is available in both the east and west parking lots, but tables and the serving tent for the picnic will be located on the East lawn next to the Gym and between the Fine Arts Building and the Gymnasium. The event is held rain or shine.