Spring is finally here and we are getting ourselves ready for another great barbecue and grilling season! But before we head out an enjoy this great weather, I wanted to share with you what happened at the 2013 National Barbecue Association National Conference in Mobile, AL. I was there and it was an amazing experience! I met so many great barbecue friends who are great supporters and want to help Operation BBQ Relief expand! One of our volunteers Lynn Enterkin wrote about her experience and I am excited to share her experience with you!
If you are also in the MO area, join us this Friday, April 5th 2013 for a "Stock the Trailer and Eat Some BBQ Fundraiser for Operation BBQ Relief." Here is the event information on Facebook! If you can't make it to the event you can always make a donation via our secure website or head to the Operation BBQ store for some great Operation BBQ Relief clothes and so much more!
If you have a great experience about being part of Operation BBQ Relief and want to write about it, send me an email and then I will get in touch with you!
Operation BBQ Relief gathers at The Gateway to the Gulf - the 2013 National BBQ Association's Conference and Trade Show
By: Operation BBQ Relief Volunteer Lynn Enterkin
Mobile AL is known for many things, the USS Alabama, Mardi Gras, Gulf Seafood and in 2013 home to the National BBQ Association's Conference & Trade Show.
Oh, and don't forget that southern hospitality! I've been competing in BBQ since 1998 and catering and vending for almost that long and I was excited to attend my first NBBQA Conference and be apart of "Old Traditions and New Directions" in the world of Q. While traveling south to Mobile my thoughts were on the deployments of our team in 2012.
The Clay AL tornado, Laplace & St Bernard Parish Louisiana and in Lower Manhattan and Coney Island the many challenges and blessings of Super Storm Sandy. Memories were flooding my mind of the other disaster teams we had worked along side feeding thousands of fellow Americans hurting and desperate for someone to share hope and a hot meal. With much anticipation I was hoping to spend time with some of the other teams and my OBR family. Arriving in Mobile Thursday morning I could feel the excitement from fellow Operation BBQ Members.
Our plans, to meet at The Shed in Ocean Springs MS for lunch and show our gratitude for all their support in past disasters. Lunch was awesome! Robert and I shared the Sampler Platter and loved the juicy ribs, tasty wings, tender brisket and spicy smoked sausage. OBR members spent time going over the game plan for the weekend and enjoyed great fellowship.
The guys went crazy putting OBR stickers all over the place, you definitely know Operation BBQ Relief was there :-). Thanks The Shed BBQ and Blues Joint from the bottom of our hearts for your generosity. Friday morning started early and was going to be a busy day with an 8am meeting and setting up the booth for the expo. There were t-shirts, aprons and caps to sell and OBR stickers to give away.
BBQ'ers from all over the country stopped by and shared their stories of disaster relief feeding and some brought us to tears. It was rewarding to share OBR's mission with people in the Barbecue world that had not heard of Operation BBQ Relief.
OBR Fundraiser at Veets Bar and Grill
Veets was very gracious to host our fund raiser on Friday night. We had a packed house with many supporters of OBR attending. The night was busy, Richard Wachtel of "Grilling with Rich" and I worked the door selling tickets for the raffle and greeting all the guest. it was a "who's who" of the BBQ world and Darryl Mast of "BBQ Super Stars" was there live with his Internet radio show. I had a blast!
Volunteer of the Year recognized at the fund raiser...
OBR has established an annual award to recognize a volunteer that has gone above and beyond the call. This is in honor of Rod Cramer a volunteer that was there in the beginning and lost his life to a horrible disease in 2012. This year that volunteer is Robert "Cousin Ed" Taylor. A very deserving award that foes to wonderful guy. Ed has worked multiple disasters last year including Super Storm Sandy in NYC.
WHAT A FINALE!
The conference finale on Saturday night was the official awards night with lots of winners but I must say, thanks to Amy Mills of 17th Street Bar and Grill OBR walked away the winner. She shared our mission and started the ball rolling with a large donation she encouraged others to follow. Not a dry eye in the house by the end of the night. I'm grateful to be involved with an organization like OBR but more than that I'm blessed to part of the BBQ Nation.
I will never forget my first NBBQA Conference and the many new friends I have made.