Second annual “Reuniting After War” BBQ Competition at SOKY Fairgrounds
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - The non-profit, volunteer-based organization, Reuniting After War, held their second annual BBQ competition at the Southern Kentucky Fairgrounds in Bowling Green, KY.
The competition is held to raise money to reunite veterans with their fellow soldiers they served with during their time in the military. This is something many competitors this weekend say is more important than the competition itself.
April Riney, a member of the Bourbon Barrel Smokers cooking team from Franklin, KY, says ”Just being able to reunite and share their common stories is really a big deal for our veterans.”
April’s husband, David Riney says, “It is troubling for them to be in that situation to begin with, and the camaraderie, bringing everybody back together to help them heal, I think it is great.”
”Anytime where we can help any sort of military cause, we come running. It just means a lot to us to help those who serve others,” says Paul Keltner, a member of Rooters-N-Tooters cooking team from Mount Pleasant, TN.
The organizer of the BBQ Competition, Derrick Huff, says that some of the people competing aren’t trying to win money, rather raise money for those who need it most.
”These competitors that come around here, they are a lot of fun. A lot of great people are doing great things. Most of them are coming here specifically just to support a veterans organization. What a lot of people are talking about as they are walking around and checking out this BBQ, vendors, and live music - they just love supporting an organization that loves supporting our nation’s veterans,” says Huff.
At the end of the day, the people competing say their love of cooking and competition is even greater when it is going towards a cause like Reunited After War.
”It is really something that I think is needed and I feel good about. Not only am I getting to do something that I love, but hopefully it helps contribute to their cause a little bit too,” says Jeff Thompson, a member of River Road Grillbillies cooking team from Kingston, TN.
Reuniting After War is a volunteer-based organization and tries to put on at least two reunions for veterans annually. The average cost for a veteran to attend a reunion is $1200.
To learn more about the organization and how you can get involved, you can visit their website.
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