Posted by John Wilson, Renfrew
Our Club's largest fundraiser has been selling Bacon on a Bun at our annual Town of Renfrew, Ontario, Fall Fair.  Because of covid-19, the fair was cancelled so we thought we had lost all that revenue (approximately $18,000). One of our members, Janet Springer, had the great idea to do a drive through ‘Bacon on a Bun’ day.  She and fellow member, Doug Ryan, started organizing to make this happen. At a regular Club Meeting, (held via Zoom because of the pandemic), several members stepped forward to help organize this activity. Many new ideas blossomed forth from their discussions. They developed a plan to make deliveries to the many businesses that support us on one day and sales to the general public the next day.  It is very difficult to estimate how much we would sell however the organizers were confident that sales would be great.  Many people have told us over the years that they attend the fair just to get a Bacon on a Bun from our booth.  So, they decided to order 80 boxes of bacon which is half of the bacon we normally sell for the five-day fair.  The meat supplier thought we had set our sights too high, but we did it anyway.
Delivery to businesses was difficult.  We had worked out some ways to improve our efficiency ​in cooking the bacon because that is the main bottleneck.  We have three grills to cook all of the meat.  We had cut the orders off at 500 plus the number of buns pre-sold before the delivery day to make sure we could make those deliveries in a 4-hour period.  Most businesses were understanding when they couldn't get their lunch at the standard noon lunch time. With our newly developed efficiencies, we had improved on the cooking and bunning and were able to deliver all the pre-ordered sales on time. With our new plan we were able to supply 700 sandwiches in in that time period.
It proved fortunate that we had improved our efficiency because of what was to come the next day.  For the general public day, we had advertised through Facebook and our local Radio Station, My FM, did some on the air promotion for us.  We had our local MPP, John Yakabuski, who is the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry come in and he ordered one of the first buns.  He did a video online which he posted on Facebook right away.  He also contacted Premier of Ontario, Doug Ford, while he was there.  Doug Ford chatted with Doug and Janet to congratulate us for being innovative in not letting the Covid-19 pandemic stop us from carrying out a safe delivery of Bacon on a Bun and making the fundraiser happen.  The Premier is a Rotarian.
The sales were to start at 10 am but customers started to drive up before 9 am. Part of the planning was to send the cars to the far end of the fairgrounds to avoid having traffic bottlenecks on the busy major boulevard.  In retrospect that was an excellent idea.  The line-up didn't stop all day in fact it extended all the way through the fairgrounds out the gate at the far end.   You can get an idea of the line up from the picture. 
We even had a horse drawn wagon pull up!  The cooks didn't have a chance to even look up because it was so busy.  It was put the bacon on; cook the bacon; take it off the grill; clean the grill and repeat as fast as we could all day long.  We actually had people drive from Ottawa, (1 hour away from Renfrew), and from Kingston (2 hours away) to get their bacon on a bun, as well as to support our club.
We ran out of bacon around 4:30 selling approximately 2100 bacon on a bun over the 6 hours period on Saturday. ​With donations and profits we netted out $10,000.  The proceeds will be used to help the local organizations we support like Hospice Renfrew and the Food Bank.