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Pork ’n’ Tunes: Small BBQ to huge bash

By Sarah Brown
Lebanon Local

What started as a few friends gathering for food and fun more than 10 years ago has turned into an event that hosts hundreds of people every year.
David and Laura Gillott, of Gillott Home Team – Keller Williams Realty Mid-Willamette, fed about 600 people during their “Pork ’n’ Tunes” affair at their house Saturday, July 24.
“We started playing poker and having events at the house for friends,” Laura Gillott said of the event’s early days. “One of the friends had a band, so they started playing, and then that turned into this.”
During the first few years, the Gillotts served a whole hog, but then moved to pork, the tradition to this day.

PITMASTER Shawn Turrentine, right, breaks fresh pork apart with the help of Randy Dobson.

That’s when their friend, Shawn Turrentine, took the lead as barbecue pitmaster.
On the night before Pork ’n’ Tunes this year, Turrentine helped add pork rub to 22 shoulders. He returned at 5:30 the following morning to fire up the pit and begin monitoring the meat for the rest of the day.
About 13 hours later, hundreds of people stood for a flag salute and presentation of the national anthem by David Dominy before lining up for a serving of the popular dish and Turrentine’s “famous” secret sauce, T-17.
Pork ’n’ Tunes usually includes a potluck, but this year the Keller Williams staff provided all the side dishes in order to maintain sanitary conditions due to the pandemic.
Most of the guests are either past, current or future clients, or “raving fans” (those who have referred clients) of the Gillott Home Team.
“Pork ‘n’ Tunes is essentially a client appreciation event,” said Mindy Vantil, Gillott Home Team marketing director.
“We love to give back to our clients because they support us so well,” Laura Gillott said.
Evan and Erin Lunda recently moved from Wisconsin and bought a house in Lebanon this past year with the help of Gillott Home Team. They attended the party for the first time.
“It’s really cool they put this on,” Evan said. “They’ve been an awesome company.”
“They do a lot of stuff for the community that I think is really great,” Erin added.
The Gillott Home Team has been instrumental in supporting several community events and projects. In addition to providing financial support for many local nonprofit endeavors, the realty group also helped install the Gillott Dog Park and, more recently, built a tree house for cancer patient Rialee Roth.
“Laura does a lot in our community, and a lot of that comes from how supportive the community has been to her business,” Vantil said. “So it’s really about giving back and saying thank you and being able to love on our clients and tell them how appreciative we are that we’re their real estate choice.”

Briana Renea entertains the guests.

Pork ‘n’ Tunes attendees were entertained with live music from The Sunliners and headliner Briana Renea. Previous events have featured such names as Kurt Van Meter, Fate 55, Jackson Michelson, and Radio Band.
Poker games are situated in a shop on the property, and a driving range is in the backyard where golfers compete for a belt buckle.
A photo booth invites a little adult fun with pig nose props, and games for kids include such activities as basketball, air hockey, teeter totter and bobbing for apples.
The classic car show competition happened by accident, Laura said. One year, one of her guests didn’t want to park his classic car in the pasture, so they made a place for him in the driveway. Then another guest said he wanted to park his there, too.
Since then, guests have been bringing their cars for show, and attendees at Pork ‘n’ Tunes vote for their favorite.
The Gillott Home Team takes the opportunity at Pork ‘n’ Tunes to invite guests to refer clients and put their names in a raffle drawing for various prizes. Jamboree tickets are often the grand prize every year.
One week after this year’s Pork ‘n’ Tunes, Turrentine passed away unexpectedly.
“He is certainly one of our best friends,” David said.
The Gillotts said they will miss Turrentine’s friendship, his generosity, his sense of humor, his help, his planning (sometimes over-planning), and playing golf and guitars together.
“And, of course, his cooking,” Laura said.