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By Kitty Klein

GPO Pig Designed and Carved by Ol' Don Burgdorf


The Great Pig Out of 1999 held at Joe Dillett's The Carving Shop in Somonauk, Illinois September 17-19 proved many things:

-Joe Dillett is a masterful host and excellent roast pig carver.
-People will pay extravagant sums of money for items at a charity auction.
-Woodcarvers are great at sharing techniques and tips with anyone.
-Members of the Woodcarvers Porch actually CARVE.
-Boy Scouts know how to share their bounty.
-John Iverson's 60-pound salmon was a perfect addition to a roast pig, turkey and ham.
-Ainslie Pyne knows American as well as Australian folksongs to sing around the campfire.
-Ol' Don Burgdorf"s generosity in sending pig cutouts for the carving competition insured that the pig theme would be carried through.
-Marcie Moore's Great Pig Out hat choice was excellent.
-The Dillett-Ful Family Singers can entertain a crowd for an afternoon.

What started out as Joe Dillett's idea to gather fellow woodcarvers for a get-together mushroomed into a fund-raiser for the Boy Scouts of Troop 5 in Somonauk and a gathering for townsfolk. The success of the weekend was measured partly by the $5,000+ that was raised for the Scouts, partly by the warmth and friendship exuded by the carvers and friends of Joe.

The highlight of the weekend was the pig roast Saturday afternoon where over 500 of Joe's closest friends enjoyed the food, entertainment and auction that helped to raise all that money for the Scouts. Joe shared this comment from his wife, "She says I can never do something on a small scale. Our family always thinks of things in a big way."

Along with the food, the carvers shared techniques and tips with fellow enthusiasts. They voted on woodcarvings and carved golf balls to choose the best, sang around a campfire, competed against each other to raise the most money at the auction, and generally just enjoyed meeting and talking with fellow carvers.

Awards, recognition and prizes were given:

-Alex Bisso, winner of the Boring Contest; Steve Klein, second
-Bob Morris, Best of Show, for his mourning dove
-Cathy Krumrei, second, for her elk
-Bob Mau, third place tie for two of his Western carvings
-Randy Moss, first place for his Native American golf ball, second place to Ol' Don Burgdorf, third to John Iverson
-Joe Dillett, a quilt carved by his fellow carvers
-Jud Hindes, the Outhouse Award for his diligence on the Woodcarvers Porch
-Marcie Moore, a steering wheel, in special recognition of her willingness to share embarrassing moments.

Despite the fact that when woodcarvers get together they pack an arsenal of sharp tools, the injury of the weekend occurred when Dan Kersey was helping Joe to prepare the pig Friday evening. Joe thought Dan's hand was part of the pig as he drove the spikes through to hold it together. Needless to say, Dan retired immediately as a pig-stuffer.

It was a weekend of good deeds, sharing, fun and feasting, and it all started with one man--Joe Dillett. Thanks, Joe, for bringing us all together and allowing us to help the Boy Scouts in the process.