By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: August 2014
(L to R): Paul White and Tripp Haggard of the Oklahoma Championship Steak Cook-off, TYPros Executive Director Shagah Zakerion, and TYPros volunteer Nick Karlovich.
Tulsa’s Young Professionals is partnering with the Oklahoma Championship Steak Cook-Off to bring the Steak Cookoff Association’s U.S. Steak Championship to downtown Tulsa in a two-day steak, music and beer festival benefitting TYPros’ 2014 community partner, the Tulsa Zoo.
The Aug. 22-23 festival, which also includes the sixth annual Oklahoma Championship Steak Cook-Off, will summon the top steak cooks to compete in teams for the state and national championships. The event will feature Oklahoma’s largest steak dinner, live music, beer, a car show and numerous children’s activities in an area centered on Sixth Street and Cincinnati Avenue.
“We are thrilled to join forces with one of the nation’s largest young professional organizations to bring one of the nation’s largest celebrations of steak to the heart of Tulsa,” said Tripp Haggard, executive director of the Oklahoma Championship Steak Cook-Off. “The state cook-off has brought thousands of steak lovers to downtown Tulsa for years. With the addition of the national championship and top chefs from around the country, needless to say, we’ve beefed up the competition.”
About 30 teams will cook steaks cut fresh on site for a chance to win the national championship Friday, Aug. 22, and about 70 teams will compete Saturday for the state championship. In all, nearly 4,000 steaks – about two tons – will be cooked. For the general public, $20 admission includes steak and side dishes.
The festival will include outdoor performances by a dozen bands headlined by Desert Noises and Alaska and Madi, a car and bike show on Boston Avenue and vendors. In addition, beer and food trucks will be on hand Friday evening, while family-friendly activities – including a kids’ zone – will round out Saturday’s festivities. More information about activities and advanced ticket sales can be found at www.oksteakcookoff.com.
Event organizers will donate 70 percent of their proceeds to the Tulsa Zoo as part of the TYPros Community Partner program, which raises money for a different nonprofit organization each year. TYPros selected the zoo this year with the goal of helping it implement its new master plan.
With thousands of people expected to attend the festival, proceeds for the zoo could top $30,000, organizers said. That would make it the largest single fundraiser in the five-year history of TYPros’ Community Partner program.
“We’ve been helping nonprofit organizations realize their dreams for five years through our Community Partner program, but this festival takes it to another level,” TYPros Executive Director Shagah Zakerion said. “With help from our fellow Tulsans, we believe this event can make meaningful progress toward the Tulsa Zoo’s dream of becoming a world-class attraction. We thank the Oklahoma Championship Steak Cook-Off for joining us in this worthy cause.”
Terrie Correll, CEO of Tulsa Zoo Management, Inc., said: “Tulsa Zoo Management, Inc., is grateful to our community partner, TYPros, and to all of the sponsors, organizers and supporters of the cook-off. All funds raised for the zoo will benefit Building Beyond Your Wildest Dreams, our capital campaign to complete our Lost Kingdom Exhibit Complex, which will include the Helmerich Tiger Exhibit, Hardesty Snow Leopard Habitat, Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation Red Panda/Binturong Exhibit and Aviary, and The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation Outdoor Siamang Habitat.” The Oklahoma Championship Steak Cook-Off will also donate 30 percent of the proceeds to its community Garden Project.
Tulsa’s Young Professionals, one of the nation’s largest young professional organizations, is division of the Tulsa Regional Chamber and a volunteer-based free membership organization for working and creative adults under the age of 40. Its mission is to attract and retain young talent in the Tulsa region while establishing Tulsa’s next generation of business and community leaders.
Sheryl Sowell was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. She graduated from Will Rogers High School and received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Northeastern State University in 2007. She has worked for Value News as editor, writer and advertising copywriter since 2008. She enjoys meeting and interviewing people for Value News articles, learning about their backgrounds, and helping to promote their businesses and local events. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying new recipes and crafts from Pinterest, attending concerts and sporting events, and spending time with family and friends. Sheryl lives in Tulsa with her fiancé Paul, their daughter Scarlett, and their two dogs, Gunner and Boo.