Barbecue raises funds for relief and aid

Feb 27

Children were lined up at the petting zoo to hold the hedgehog or the red-footed tortoise. The bounce house drew a more energetic crowd.  Others took the opportunity to enjoy Two Day Suitcase or Tessy Lou and the Shotgun Stars as they played from the stage erected just for the occasion.

The event was the Southwest Showdown barbecue competition organized for a second year by students at Seminary of the Southwest to raise funds and visibility for Episcopal Relief and Development. Held on the grounds of the Austin seminary on a warm Saturday afternoon in February, the event brought together neighbors and passers by, adults and children from the seminary community, and teams competing for first place for their ribs or brisket which had been tended for hours before serving.

Teams paid to compete and hungry guests paid to eat and the funds surpassed the $4000 goal, which will be sent to ERD. Twelve teams came from Austin, Houston, San Angelo and Dallas, Texas and from western Michigan. Posse Que, from Posse East neighborhood bar and grill, won first place for their ribs (for the second year) and Adelbert’s Brewery of Austin won for their brisket. The judges and the hungry crowd came away full and happy.

Chad Brinkman, associate for engagement at the ERD headquarters in New York City, was present to thank everyone and to join the judges in their difficult task. “It was an honor to join such a vibrant community working together to make a difference in the world.  It is through the tireless efforts of friends like Seminary of the Southwest that we are able to continue our work.  Together we are healing a hurting world.  The Southwest Showdown will no doubt continue to grow and we are grateful that Episcopal Relief & Development could be a part of such an extraordinary event.”

Christian Baron, senior seminarian from the Diocese of Western Michigan and one of the organizers for the 2013 and 2014 Showdown, expressed his hope for the event next year. “We’d love to have 25 teams competing in 2015. Although we raised a bunch of money this year, that is only part of the intent. We also are glad to make ERD more visible so that folks think about them throughout the year.”

No pressure, team 2015.