Peanut boil fundraiser – A 40-year tradition

Published 8:00 am Thursday, August 3, 2023

Peanut lovers for miles around made the drive to Honoraville on July 28-29 to purchase fresh green boiled peanuts from the Honoraville Volunteer Fire Department. The department opened its doors in 1973, and its bi-annual peanut boil fundraiser has been a community favorite for over 40 years.

“I always go to as many of these boils as I can make it to,” said Bobby Weaver, owner of Weaver Steamer, as he cracked open his bag of goober peas. “The peanuts are always delicious, and I love knowing that me buying them helps support my local fire department.”

An unexpectedly large turnout at the department’s October 2022 boil gave rise to a quick sell-out, inspiring Fire Chief Robert McGough and Assistant Fire Chief Allen Cauthen to ramp up production this go around. More than 3600 pounds of peanuts were boiled and sold, making the July 2023 boil the largest the department has ever accomplished.

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“We had a huge turnout last October,” Cauthen said. “We had people standing at the road waiting, but we were selling out too quickly to give them peanuts. This time we boiled a lot more peanuts, and we ended up having even more people come out. We’ve done other kinds of fundraisers in the past, but none of them have been able to top the peanut boils.”

According to Cauthen, the fundraisers are crucial to keeping the department active. The department receives some funding from a county tax, but often relies on the proceeds of these fundraisers to cover the expenses that extend beyond that income. 

“One of the main reasons we do these fundraisers is because the tax money can’t pay for everything,” Cauthen explained. “There are rules about what we can and can’t use it for. We can’t use it to buy drinking water or Gatorade or anything like that, and we need those things especially when we’re out on a fire call. Money for those things has to come from private donations, and the tax money just doesn’t cover everything we need. These boils help us offset those costs.”

McGough recognizes the importance of the money that is raised during these boils and emphasizes his gratitude for the community who continues to show up in support of the department year after year. 

“We appreciate all the help and support we receive from the community so much,” McGough said. “The county tax helps support us, but our equipment and other costs are so expensive, and the tax money just isn’t enough to cover it all. Without our community’s support we couldn’t do what we do. They [the community] always give us a great amount of support, not just buying the peanuts, but half the people who help us with the boils are community members who show up to support us. They aren’t firefighters, they just want to help.”

Cauthen urges the community to come back to the Honoraville Fire Department in October for their second and final boil of the year.

“The October boil is usually a little bit smaller, but this year we’re hoping to have the same turnout in October as we did in July from people who want to buy peanuts and from people who want to help us with the sale,” Cauthen said.

In addition to purchasing equipment and needed supplies, proceeds from this year’s boils will help cover the costs of construction for the department’s new fire station which is expected to be completed in Spring 2024.

For more information or to get involved, community members are encouraged to visit the Honoraville Volunteer Fire Department at 6630 Honoraville Rd, or speak with any fire department member.