Ogden Club kitchen manager Jason Glass will be among those taking part in the 11th annual DAR Boys & Girls Club Taste of Marinette & Menominee Counties on Thursday. Glass will be slow-braising pork loin for pulled pork with apple slaw. The event will be held at Riverside Golf Club in Menominee. EagleHerald/Mike Desotell
Ogden Club kitchen manager Jason Glass will be among those taking part in the 11th annual DAR Boys & Girls Club Taste of Marinette & Menominee Counties on Thursday. Glass will be slow-braising pork loin for pulled pork with apple slaw. The event will be held at Riverside Golf Club in Menominee. EagleHerald/Mike Desotell
MENOMINEE - You've probably heard it said that an army travels on its stomach. In the case of the DAR Boys & Girls Club of Menominee, it's an army of youngsters that will be able to keep on marching thanks to those taking part in the 11th annual Taste of Marinette & Menominee Counties.

For nearly 100 years the DAR has been giving youngsters a safe place to call their own, where they can improve their minds and bodies. For most of those years, it was reserved for just boys but now both genders share in the benefits of leadership from positive adult role models.

Keeping the doors to the club open has always been a challenge. As a nonprofit organization, it has always relied on the generosity of the community, and so far things have worked out quite well.

One of the ways the club raises money is through various fundraisers throughout the year.

The tasting event tops the list.

This year, nearly 20 local restaurant and food vendors will be preparing sample dishes for guests to eat.

"I think the vendors get more creative," said DAR executive director Rich Crevier. "We made almost $50,000 last year and so that's the goal this year. The donors to the DAR really dig down deep and make this better."

Five years ago, the DAR had to make drastic cuts. Staff members took a huge hit with salaries and benefits.

"We had to, it was either that or we would have had to close the club," explained Crevier. "I'm proud to say at least 95 percent of those people are still here. They didn't leave because of the cuts."

The club is more than bricks and mortar to the members, their parents, the volunteers and the paid staff. Without the DAR and the programs it offers, there's no telling where hundreds of area children would be spending their free time.

There are currently some 300 members, but the clubs serves more than 2,000 children annually through a myriad of events.

Membership fees are kept to $20 a year and a grant from the Hannahville Indian Tribe helps see to it that no child is denied a membership because they can't afford it.

While $30 for a ticket to sample food may seem like a lot of money, it's money that is put toward a cause that has served the community for nearly a century.

In addition to eating, attendees will also get to bid on some incredible items in both silent and oral auctions.

Sports packages include tickets to Packers, Brewers and Badger games along with the Green Bay Gamblers and Bullfrogs and Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. Other items include VIP campsite and passes to the Porterfield County Music Festival, weekend stays in Chicago and a two-night stay for two at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.

"Every year we're looking for a little twist to keep the interest," said Crevier. This year there will be a photo opportunity to give attendees the red carpet feel.

Tickets are on sale at Angeli's in Menominee and Marinette, Schloegel's Bay View Restaurant, Tony's Haller Beverage and at the DAR. Food and beverage tasting will take place from 6-8 p.m. along with silent and oral auctions.