"Heartland of America" is the theme for the 51st annual Grant County Home Products Dinner scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 17.

The dinner tradition actually started as a boast. In 1941, State Rep.

Will Christian proudly told his fellow legislators that he and his

family were self-reliant. Everything they needed to eat could be (and

was) produced on their farm in Grant County. To prove that statement, he

invited a select group of politicians to his home for dinner. As a

result, the first unofficial Grant County Home Products Dinner began.

Each year, dignitaries, the people of Grant County and people from

all over western Kansas gather at the Civic Center in Ulysses for the

annual dinner. The menu consists of barbecued beef, whole wheat rolls,

sweet corn, pinto beans, scalloped potatoes, candied squash, watermelon,

cherry tomatoes, strawberry jam and butter, as well as milo doughnuts

and ice cream for dessert. Foods on the table not produced in Grant

County are tea, salt, pepper, sugar and coffee.

The featured entertainment for the evening will be Allison Massari, a

personal coach, entrepreneur and award-winning artist who was burned in

a fire.

Admission is a $7 button, which includes the meal, collector button

and live entertainment. Buttons are available at many Ulysses businesses

or by contacting the Grant County Chamber of Commerce at (620)

356-4700. Button sales also will be available at the door.

Dinner proceeds sponsor the Grant County Scholarship Foundation.