Charity BBQ raises $10,000 thanks to Orcutt Academy


On February 8th, multiple local organizations came together to put on a barbecue for Noah Slocum, an Orcutt Academy sophomore who was diagnosed with cancer last year. 


The OAHS Interact Club teamed up with numerous organizations, including the school’s Associated Student Body (ASB), National Honors Society, and Key Club, as well as Parks and Rec Santa Maria, the Orcutt Lions Club, Healing Rooms Santa Maria, and Lags Medical Centers. Not only that, but approximately fifty Orcutt Academy students pitched in by selling presale tickets for the barbecue. On the day of the event, students and families completed a 3K run, followed by the delicious taste of Santa Maria-style tri-tip, chips, and a soft drink.


A whopping 710 presale tickets were sold, not to mention over one hundred walk-ups. Every single penny of the $10,000 raised was given to Noah’s family to help fund his recovery.


Senior Dante Surra, OAHS Interact President and ASB member, actually came up with the barbecue idea. He teamed up with junior Alyssa Carrier, also an ASB member, in putting it together. They picked Pioneer Park as the location, and reached out to organizations to help them out. “It wasn’t easy to pull off,” says Surra, “but I’m so thankful everything went well.”


Volunteers from around town and many students from OAHS worked the barbeque. There was music too, played live by local musicians, students, and even the school’s custodian. Surra credits Carrier and seniors Edella Westerfield, Kayla Pablo, Ryan Thomas, and Julia White for their crucial roles in making the barbeque happen. “They were all a major help but haven’t had much recognition,” Surra states.


Westerfield, who happens to be the president of OAHS’s Key Club, helped with reserving the date of the barbecue and completing necessary forms. “As the date grew closer, I had my Key Club members sell tickets, and I sold about 20 myself,” she says. Westerfield really enjoyed pitching in for the event. She admires how much hard work was put in, especially from Surra and Carrier. “Cancer is hard enough on its own without the financial drain,” Westerfield explains. “I’m just grateful to have been a part of this.”


Putting on the event was no walk in the park. Phone calls were made, meetings were constant, and countless hours were devoted into executing the big fundraiser. Noah’s family was overwhelmed with the support they received. “It means so much to me that the community came together in support of Noah,” says Carrier, “It has been wonderful to see how many kind hearted people have donated to the cause.” According to several students, Noah has always been a sweet kid with a big heart himself. 


“I feel honored to be able to be a part of something so much bigger than myself,” continues Carrier, “It’s very heartwarming.” Everyone that participated in and contributed to Noah’s barbecue surely made a difference in his recovery, and he and his family are eternally thankful.