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TCH to host Smoke on the Island with public safety the top priority

By Staff | Jun 23, 2020

With few activities scheduled around the Fourth of July holiday this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Community House has found a way to keep one community tradition alive.

The facility will hold its Smoke on the Island on July 3 at 6 p.m., with new safety protocols and measures in place that align with CDC guidelines. The community social dinner – a fundraiser for the Sanibel Community Association’s operations – will feature a hog roast, plus sides and a dessert.

“We’re part of the community and we’re excited to open our doors and have our friends and family come back to The Community House,” Marketing and Event Planning Director Sarah Jacobson said.

“We miss everybody, but we want to do it as safety as possible,” she added.

Unlike prior community dinners, attendees will not be seated next to one another at long tables.

PHOTO PROVIDED Resident Chef Jarred Harris

“We have the capacity and the space to spread people out,” Jacobson said of social distancing. “We are asking people to register in social units, of up to 10 people, that they feel comfortable sitting with.”

Tables of varying sizes will be set up and separated, then assigned a number for each.

“We’re going to use our full facility to spread out the tables,” she said.

“We will have a variety of seating choices,” Jacobson added.

There will not be the usual buffet spread. Tables will be called up by number and staff members, stationed behind plexiglass and donning masks and gloves, will serve up what each attendee wants.

In addition, attendees will be required to wear masks when in public areas of the facility, while in the food line to get their plate, and when visiting with the other tables that are not their reserved table.

“We are also going to take temperatures as people come in,” she said.

Jacobson noted that the facility has undergone a deep cleaning and sanitization.

“We’ve disinfected every single surface,” she said.

As for the meal, Resident Chef Jarred Harris is serving up tomato and sweet onion salad, Southern-style red skin potato salad and baked beans, paired with a whole-roasted hog, garlic bread and his beloved mango barbeque sauce and barbeque chicken. There will be homemade cookies for dessert.

“We’ll offer two proteins,” Jacobson said. “You can choose one or both.”

Unlike prior community dinners, dessert is included in the cost.

“Everything is made by him,” she said. “Everyone loves his homemade sauce.”

For those who do not feel comfortable attending but want to enjoy Harris’ cooking, The Community House has a plan in place. Boxed meals will be available for pick up from 5 to 6 p.m. at a separate entrance to the facility. People can walk up to collect their food or it can be delivered to their vehicle.

“They will get a representation of the entire meal,” Jacobson said of the prepared plates.

The cost for the dinner is $25 for non-members and $20 for members.

Like many non-profits, The Community House sustained significant revenue losses due to shutting down temporarily in light of COVID-19. Smoke on the Island will help to recoup some of that.

“We are proud that we kept our entire staff,” she said of not letting anyone go.

To reserve a table for a group of up to 10, call 239-472-2155.

To make a reservation for pick up, visit sanibelcommunityhouse.net.

“It’s a fun way to celebrate the Fourth of July with a good old-fashioned barbecue – and if you’ve never experienced Chef Jarred’s cooking, it’s a great time to try it,” Jacobson said.

“See familiar and new faces in a safe environment,” she added.

For more information, visit sanibelcommunityhouse.net or call 239-472-2155.

The Community House is at 2173 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.