Lufkin Roundtable sells signature rib eye steak sandwiches for scholarships

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - They call themselves the Lufkin Roundtable and while these East Texans sit around the table drinking coffee every morning at the local feed store they are helping kids go to college.

For nearly 25 years the men of the Lufkin Roundtable have been dishing out delicious rib eye sandwiches to raise scholarship money for Angelina County students.

But what is the Lufkin Roundtable?

"A group of guys that drink coffee every morning down at the feed store and we have a scholarship fund," said Lufkin Roundtable member, Charles Arnold.

A scholarship fund that has given more than $400,000 to Angelina County students involved in Future Farmers of America (FFA), 4H and family life science.

"Each get $1,000," said Arnold "It's not a much but it's enough to get cranked up a little bit."

The Roundtable assembled in 1989 when Charles Arnold's son, Chuck, died in a car accident and the group decided to honor him with the Chuck Arnold Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Arnold says he thinks his son would be smiling if he could see how many kids they've helped go to college over the years.

And the Lufkin Roundtable funds their scholarships by selling their famous rib eye steak sandwiches.

"We buy whole rib eyes and we have them sliced then we put our long-time family secret seasoning on them and then we grill out here put them in a bun with some grilled onions and you'll be happy, happy, happy," said Arnold. "Everything we make goes into the scholarship fund."

In 1995, the group added the Denna Brown Memorial Scholarship. Denna is Lufkin Mayor, Bob Brown's daughter. And 2007, the Lauralyn Mathis Hillard Scholarship was created to honor another member's daughter.

"This year we gave 31. So it's  lots of fun visiting with all the kids in school because we can ask some nice questions and have fun doing it," said Arnold.

The scholarships are awarded every March after the Roundtable interviews all the applicants.

"And we're not looking for the number one kid in the class. We're looking for the one that is well rounded, involved in a lot of community activities," said Arnold.

The Roundtable has some young guys working their way up to carry on the tradition but they have to earn their stripes before they'll ever learn the recipe for the secret seasoning.

Copyright 2013 KTRE. All rights reserved.