By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: Other | Issue: July 2010
Director Carrie Koewing, former patient Jonah White, and Fundraising Associate Jenny Gardner.
Jonah White is a fun-loving eight-year-old with a smile that will melt your heart. In 2006, he was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a cancer of the bone. After ten months of chemotherapy and having his right leg amputated mid-calf, he is now free from cancer. Jonah and his parents, Jeremy and Amy, are extremely grateful to the organization that helped them throughout their experience – The Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis.
If you would like to support children like Jonah – and have a great time doing it – plan to attend the Tulsa BBQ Challenge on July 9 and 10 at the OU-Tulsa Schusterman Center, 41st and Yale. One hundred percent of the event’s proceeds will benefit The Children’s Hospital Foundation at Saint Francis, a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization that fosters charitable giving to provide and improve the care of the children the hospital serves.
“This is our first year for the event. We thought it was a wonderful idea – it was something our employees, patients and their families could all be a part of,” says Carrie Koewing, director of the Foundation. Carrie explains that this will be a good old-fashioned summer event, so bring your blankets, lawn chairs and appetites, and get ready for some delicious fun with the whole family.
Free and open to the public, the Tulsa BBQ Challenge takes place Friday, July 9 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday, July 10 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free parking is available at Tulsa Promenade Mall on both days.
The Tulsa BBQ Challenge is a Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned event, offering over $10,000 in cash payout to team winners. Corporate and professional teams as well as backyard pit masters will compete for cash and prizes, including $1,500 for the grand champion, who will also receive entry to the American Royal Contest in Kansas City this October. Teams from across the region will vie for top honors in steak, chicken, pork shoulder, pork ribs, beef brisket and the People’s Choice Award. The voting for People’s Choice takes place Saturday, July 10. Taster kits are $10 and go on sale at 11:30 a.m., so be sure to arrive early!
On Friday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. will be Tulsa’s first-ever Kid’s ‘Que for young grillers. The entry fee is only $25, and each contestant will take home a grill donated by Hasty Bake. Two age groups will compete: 6 to 10 year olds and 11 to 15 year olds. Each competitor will cook a hamburger, and awards will go to the top three teams. Jonah White, now a volunteer for The Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis, will be representing the hospital in the Kid’s ‘Que.
Friday will also feature a VIP steak dinner. You can purchase a ticket for $25 to enjoy an air-conditioned VIP tent, a rib eye steak dinner prepared by the teams, and complimentary beer, wine and samples from Qdoba Mexican Grill.
Along with the intoxicating scent of barbecue being grilled, live musical entertainment will fill the air of the Schusterman Center. From 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, Oklahoma City-based band The Wise Guys will perform. On Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., enjoy the musical stylings of The Crowe Band. Both days will also feature the Hotrods & Ratrods Car Show, courtesy of the Bent Wrench Car Club.
The two-day Kid’s Zone will include clowns, arts and crafts, inflatables, face painting, and a Bear Clinic.
Sponsors for the Tulsa BBQ Challenge are Acrobat Ant, Atlas Pipeline, Clifford Power Systems, CommunityCare, Gardner Construction Company, Hasty Bake, K95.5FM, The LDF Companies, MidFirst Bank, OU-Tulsa Schusterman Center Campus, Professional Image, Qdoba, QuikTrip, Saint Francis Health System, Samson, Tulsa People, Tulsa Promenade Mall, and Waste Management. In addition, Tulsa Promenade Mall is giving all of its coin fountain donations to The Children’s Hospital through September 30, 2010.
All proceeds from the Tulsa BBQ Challenge will benefit The Children’s Hospital Foundation at Saint Francis. With the assistance of charitable donors, the Foundation has helped fund playrooms, family sleep rooms, an outdoor playground, Family Resource Library, Urgent Care Center, Oncology Clinic, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, and an expansion of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The Foundation also helps fund programs within The Children’s Hospital, including Beads of Courage for the oncology patients and capital expenditures for equipment such as wheelchairs and a cardiac ultrasound machine.
To learn more or to register for the BBQ Challenge, visit www.tulsabbqchallenge.com.
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.
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