One more barbecue sandwich and the sixth annual Underwood’s benefit for the Brown County United Way would have hit the $5,000 mark.

But the event was nothing short of a success. People had a good time, and a good meal for a good cause.

“You know you’re involved in a good thing when everybody there is thanking each other,” Paul Underwood said. “People thanked us for having this event each year, we thanked those who come and eat.”

After all the tables had been cleared and the dishes washed, this year’s luncheon netted $4,996.06 - “one barbecue sandwich short” of topping $5,000, which is a little less than last year’s total, Underwood said.

“That’s a little shy of what we did last year, but realistically, $5,000 is about all you can expect to do considering the amount of time we have to serve. And we wouldn’t be able to do that without the generosity of many of those who come.”

Also, it seemed business was as brisk as it had been in previous years. Underwood said he couldn’t say what the difference was. Some gave more than what they would have paid for their meal. One couple, Underwood said, paid $100 for two meals.

The landmark cafeteria is usually closed on Wednesdays, but once a year for the past six years it has been opened for lunch. Diners pay the usual price to eat, but proceeds go to the United Way.

“It’s fun to do and we’re excited to be able to do, but it’s also a lot of work and we’re glad when it’s over,” Underwood said with a chuckle. “But it gets everyone involved, and it’s more fun to do this than merely write a check. It’s amazing how our employees are so great to donate their time. We just put out a sign-up sheet for people to volunteer, and the lines fill up.”

Underwood also expressed his appreciation to United Way board members and volunteers who spent several hours of their day working along side Underwood’s employees.