Danville Raccoon Dinner volunteers

Volunteers add green beans, mashed potatoes, stuffing and cornbread to a plate full of roasted raccoon during last year's Danville Raccoon Dinner.

DANVILLE – The 77th annual Danville Lions Club Raccoon Dinner will be held Monday, February 3rd at the St. Luke's Community Center, located immediately behind the Danville St. Luke’s Catholic Church. The meal will be served from 4:30 until 7:30 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis.

At 6:30 p.m., the Devil Land Jazz Band will perform for the attendees across the street from the Community Center in the High School Auditorium. The main event will follow the band at 7:30 p.m. with a musical presentation by the famous bluegrass band – Safire Sun.

A raffle drawing for a Ruger Savage “25”, 17 Hornet Rifle will be held at the end of the program, tickets are available at the door and at various location in Danville.

Net proceeds of this event will be donated for the benefit of the Skyler Moore medical fund. Moore is a 2019 graduate of Danville High School who has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.

Skyler Moore

Danville senior Skyler Moore was named Prom King in 2019. Hanna Lowe was named Prom Queen. 

He is receiving extensive chemo, radiation, and proton therapy. If you are not able to attend, direct donations to Moore's fund are welcome and appreciated to Danville Lions Club for Skyler Moore, PO Box 506, Danville, OH 43014.

Clyde Banbury and Clyde Cornell started the first Raccoon Dinner. The meal was served in Banbury's basement with 30 in attendance. After a few years, the annual dinner was moved to the elementary building at the school cafeteria since the interest in attending was dramatically increasing.

As the event evolved, guest speakers were included as part of the program. There have been many notable and outstanding speakers such as Ohio Governor Jim Rhodes, OSU head coaches Woody Hayes and John Cooper, Gordy Coleman (Cincinnati Reds), Jerry Razor (newscaster), Ed Johnson, Steve Newman, Andy Geiger, Bill Conley, Craig Krenzel, Greg Frey, Katie Smith, Matt Finkus, Bobby Carpenter, and many more.

The largest attendance to the event was over 800 people.

At the dinner, almost 500 pounds of raccoon are served as the entree, coupled with a full course setting of mashed potatoes, dressing, mixed vegetables, raccoon gravy, cake, and a generous serving of fresh homemade cornbread. A limited amount of ham is prepared for those wishing to attend whose health may not permit them to consume the raccoon.

The participants come from all over the United States and Canada to attend this famous event. Past events have seen a gentleman fly up from Missouri in his airplane just for the dinner and a newspaper editor come from Pennsylvania attending to enjoy the unique cuisine. The event has had visitors from places as far away as Russia and Egypt.

The 80 year old Danville Lions Club, chartered in 1939, was sponsored jointly by the Fredericktown and Mount Vernon Lions Clubs. Since the beginning, the club has truly lived up to the Lions Motto "We Serve." They have sponsored and facilitated many hundreds of fundraising events and service projects to help the Danville area community and its citizens.

Safire Sun is an incredible local music group that has graced performance stages all over the US with their own unique music genre.

Darell Sanson on mandolin, guitar, banjo, as well as lead, tenor and baritone vocals. He has been a part of legendary bluegrass bands, such as The Country Gentlemen, Jimmy Martin, The Sunny Mountain Boys and The Bluegrass Alliance.

Yvonne Sanson on rhythm guitar and sings lead/harmony vocals. She worked as a singer/songwriter in Nashville and landed the opportunity to co-write the Randy Travis and many other music professionals.

Brittany Beatty plays bass and sings backup vocals. She has performed at the famed Ralph Stanley Bluegrass Festival and other national bluegrass.

For information about the 2020 Raccoon Dinner, contact the Danville Lions Club at (740) 599-7407, or on Facebook at Danville Lions Raccoon Dinner.

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