Labor Day event with charitable benefits

Organizers of Our Lady of Lourdes Labor Day Festival and BBQ begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m.{}{} The Church is located 980 Huffman Road in Birmingham.{}

Volunteers have cooked 2,000 pounds of Boston butt, 250 slabs of ribs, 500 pieces of chicken and about 400 two-pound turkey legs.{} Between 10,000-15,000 people are expected to attend the popular festival.{} Organizers hope the festival raises $35,000-$40,000 this year, he said.

Most of the festival's proceeds are used to help fund programs at Our Lady of Lourdes, such as the church's kindergarten, youth ministry and senior citizens programs.{} In the last several years, a few other groups have benefited.

The first were the families of three Birmingham police officers killed in the line of duty in 2004. The festival donated 10 percent of the money raised to a fund that had been set up for the officers' widows and children.{} Since then, the festival has tithed 10 percent each year for charities outside of the church, such as the Optimist Clubs in Birmingham and Leeds' Christmas gift program for foster children.

This year the festival is upping the tithe to 20 percent. Ten percent will go to the usual charities and another 10 percent will go to tornado relief.{} A group from the Pratt City Disaster Relief Center will be among the 250 or so volunteers who help put on the festival.{} They'll join other church members, wrestlers and cheerleaders from Leeds High School, a couple of Boy Scout troops and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Explorers post.{}