'This is our largest fundraiser of the year': New Berlin Lions Club Corn Roast a staple of the State Fair

NOW: ’This is our largest fundraiser of the year’: New Berlin Lions Club Corn Roast a staple of the State Fair

WEST ALLIS, Wis. (CBS 58) -- There are hundreds of foods to choose from at the Wisconsin State Fair, but it's tough to compete with one staple that has been a part of the fair for over 60 years.

"I'm not going to say that no one has corn as good as us, but no one has corn better than us," said Dave Abstetar, with the New Berlin Lions Club. "It's really about the best corn you can get."

Since 1959, the New Berlin Lions Club corn roast has been roasting, buttering and salting ears of corn for fairgoers to enjoy. For many, a stop at the corn roast stand has become a tradition.

"Every time I come to the fair, I've got to have their corn," said Sandy Leone of New Berlin. "It's just really good."

Waukesha's Lloyd Beauchamp echoed that message.

"First stop when we come," Beauchamp said, enjoying an ear with his grandson, Weston. "It's the tradition. It's the cause it's for. The corn's always fresh and tasty and every year we have to come and get it."

The New Berlin Lions Club expects to sell between 90 and 100,000 ears of corn over the 11 days that make up the State Fair, raising roughly $100,000 in funds to be distributed to hometown charities including The Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity and other Lions Club organizations including the Wisconsin Lions Foundation and Lions International.

"All the money we make goes to charities," Abstetar said. "We have great corn, great camaraderie; just a lot of fun and help the community."

Ava Schwantes is a junior at Wauwatosa West High School. Her dance team makes up some of the roughly 1,200 volunteers who keep the stand running.

"This day is a lot of work and it's really hard, and it gets hot and it's not always super easy, but I love it," Schwantes said. "This is my favorite fundraiser that our team does. This is my favorite part of the summer."

Schwantes and her teammates are grateful to earn money for their dance team and help the Lions Club support other community organizations in the process.

"It's a really cool part to think that it goes beyond just us, and it goes beyond just the corn that we are selling or the corn people are eating," Schwantes said. "People know about the corn and I love the corn. It's a very Wisconsin job."

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