From the Heart – March 2022

Mar 28, 2022 | Newsletters

From the Heart

March 2022

Message from the Co-Founders

Operation BBQ Relief continues to share the healing power of BBQ through our Disaster Response Team and The Always Serving Project®. Operation BBQ Relief deployed to New Orleans, LA to serve the one hot meal that matters with first responders and families impacted by the catastrophic tornado. During the same week, our volunteers and staff returned to Mayfield, KY to team up with the Gary Sinise Foundation to host an appreciation dinner for first responders. We are constantly reminded of the powerful impact of a hot meal for communities that are still recovering from the devastation.

We have several festivals, events, and potential disasters in the upcoming months and are actively recruiting new volunteers. If you love BBQ and love people, please download our App and invite others to do the same. This month, you will meet Rob Kearney in our Volunteer Spotlight. Rob shares his experiences during his first deployment to Mayfield and how he immediately felt welcomed. We hope you are able to experience the life-changing impact of volunteering with Operation BBQ Relief.

Thank you to all our volunteers, sponsors, and supporters. We look forward to meeting you at future events.

Much respect,

Stan Hays, CEO
Will Cleaver, CPO and Head of Finance


Help share the healing power of BBQ! Make new friends! Register to volunteer on the Operation BBQ Relief App or sign-up at

Disaster Response Team

Operation BBQ Relief provided hope, friendship, and compassion to communities in New Orleans, LA and the surrounding areas. Many homes were severely damaged from the EF3 tornado that had a maximum wind speed of 160 mph.

The Always Serving Project®

“Operation BBQ Relief was honored to team up with Certified Angus Beef ® brand to educate, host, and serve Gold Star families from the Gary Sinise Foundation. It was amazing to see the families smiling and knowing that our team was able to bring a little sunshine into their lives. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to all that have served and continue to serve to protect our freedoms.”

-Bryan Mrozcka
Head of Culinary

2022 BBQ Academy & Golf Classic

Celebrity BBQ Academy and Golf Classic!
Sign up today!

Do you love to golf and enjoy good BBQ?
Your golf team will play on one of the best courses in the Kansas City area while sampling delicious BBQ and drink pairings throughout the course.

Do you love good BBQ but do not golf?
Sign up for the BBQ Academy course. Participants in teams of 4 will get a fast-paced introduction to the craft and science of BBQ at different stations throughout the golf course. You’ll learn the tools of the trade, the difference between hot-n-fast and low-n-slow, and how to apply them to turn out the best grilling and BBQ you have ever tried.

Come hungry and get ready for a fun-filled day to further the mission of Operation BBQ Relief.

Volunteer Spotlight

Rob Kearney (Santa) – Parrottsville, TN

Deployment: Mayfield, KY

How did you get involved with Operation BBQ Relief?
When I was working as a police officer for the City of Puyallup in Washington a few years ago, there was a training class hosted by Operation BBQ Relief at our local VFW. While on patrol, I followed my nose to the smokers and when I got there, I asked a lot of questions. I was impressed with not only the delicious food, but also the nature of the folks cooking and serving it. Now that I’m retired and able to volunteer my time, I jumped at the opportunity to help after the tornadoes hit Kentucky and I saw Operation BBQ Relief was deploying.

Why volunteer with Operation BBQ Relief?
As a retired first responder and a member of the US Coast Guard, it’s in my nature to want to help. I’ve been directly involved with rescues and recoveries at many disasters over the years, so I’ve seen and felt the burden of suffering. Now that I’m retired, I’m in a good position to give back and ease that burden by showing up and providing delicious food.

Favorite Operation BBQ Relief moment:
I arrived super early for my first shift and there was already activity in the kitchen. My first interaction was with Chef Johnny Imbriolo. Chef Johnny made me feel like an old friend as we sipped coffee and talked. As the camp started to wake up, I remember thinking how comfortable I already felt there. Nobody knew me yet but we were all part of a team with a valuable purpose and a mission to accomplish.

Corporate Supporters



Join the #iamOBR movement with a tax deductible monthly contribution where you can select donation options to help support Operation BBQ Relief.


Operation BBQ Relief relies solely on volunteers like you. Whether you are a competition BBQ team, caterer, restaurateur or simply an individual or group wanting to help when disaster strikes, we want you to be a part of this rewarding experience in helping people.