Isabella to host ‘Mustang Feast’ for 20th year

Published 6:46 pm Friday, March 6, 2015

For the 20th straight year, fans of the Isabella Mustangs athletic programs will be able to get their fill—and help out their team.

The school’s annual “Mustang Feast” will take place March 7 at 5 p.m., inviting those in the community to come out and enjoy food and fellowship, all the while helping raise funds for the school’s athletic booster club.

“It started out with (the late) Mr. Bill Veazey,” said Shelby Lowery, one of the event organizers. “We’ve built several different projects from it. It’s a tradition we carry on because of Mr. Veazey.”

Lowery—who is working her 15th consecutive Feast—said that Veazey, an Isabella graduate and longtime supporter of Mustang athletics who passed away in 2008, started the event along with help from then-Mustangs’ head football coach Craig Hunnicutt.

“Coach Hunnicutt had done it at the school he was at before,” Lowery said. “He brought it with him, and he and Mr. Veazey worked together on it.”

Calling the event a “feast” is truth-in-advertising at its finest: For a $50 ticket, those in attendance are welcome to an all-you-can-eat smorgasbord of steak, catfish, shrimp and barbecue, as well as a myriad of sides and desserts, Lowery said.

“However many tickets we sell, (is how much we cook),” she said. “We do 250 steaks, 65 pounds of catfish, 75 pounds of shrimp, 200 baked potatoes, 20 pounds of cole slaw and seven No. 10 cans of baked beans.”

Lowery said she believed the atmosphere of the event helped make it so unique.

“We grill the steaks and cook the shrimp, and we do it there,” she said. “It’s a social thing. Alumni really love it.”

IHS bookkeeper Rhonda Littleton said while the event may be fun, it is also helps the school and athletic department a great deal.

“We averaged probably $5,000-$7,000 a year (brought in) for the last few years,” she said.

Littleton also said the “Feast” has helped fund several projects around the school through the years.

“They built the Craig Hunnicutt fieldhouse, put lights on the football, softball and baseball fields, remodeled the press box, restroom and concession stands,” she said. “(It) replaced fences on the baseball and softball fields and built and purchased concession stands for softball and baseball fields, given donations for cheerleaders to attend camp and purchased a mascot suit.”

Other items purchased by the booster club with funds raised from the feast include three state championship rings for student-athletes and a donation of $5,800 to help start a band program, among others.

“It’s contributed to the elementary school gym,” Littleton said. “Overall, it helps our whole school for things.”

For the second straight year, the event will feature a silent auction and will sell items such as jewelry, cakes and other items.

Lowery said she looked forward to the event each year.

“It’s just something everyone enjoys,” she said. “If you’re from Isabella, it’s just (about) pride in your school. That’s why I keep doing it.”