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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


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Unread 06-09-2013, 11:54 AM   #1
bdadams84
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Default Organizing a charity cook off-need advice

Alright, so I want to organize a charity cook-off for the Wounded Warrior Project. Of course in my head it all ends up looking something like the American Royal. While that may be unrealistic, I would certainly like to do something. A cook off in a parking lot of the Safeway (or whoever is willing to give us space) is one idea.

I will be talking to the health department to see what might be required on that end. I will also see what type of interest there is for participation. On that note "Is any one interested in a cook off for the Wounded Warrior Project in Montgomery County Maryland?"

If anybody has any experience organizing this type of thing I would love to get some pointers, as this is a first for me.
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Unread 06-10-2013, 11:34 AM   #2
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If you can come to Clarksville Tn in two weeks. The competition there goes to raise money for WWP and each team gets a warrior for a team mate that weekend. But they really become a teammate for good.
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Unread 06-10-2013, 12:30 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdadams84 View Post
Alright, so I want to organize a charity cook-off for the Wounded Warrior Project. Of course in my head it all ends up looking something like the American Royal. While that may be unrealistic, I would certainly like to do something. A cook off in a parking lot of the Safeway (or whoever is willing to give us space) is one idea.

I will be talking to the health department to see what might be required on that end. I will also see what type of interest there is for participation. On that note "Is any one interested in a cook off for the Wounded Warrior Project in Montgomery County Maryland?"

If anybody has any experience organizing this type of thing I would love to get some pointers, as this is a first for me.
I would send a PM to Motoeric. He has done this a time or two before.
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Unread 06-10-2013, 01:36 PM   #4
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Good info here; http://lawdawgbbq.blogspot.com/2010/...on-part-1.html
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Unread 06-10-2013, 01:46 PM   #5
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I advise you NOT to approach your HD at this stage!

Talk to other organizers in your state first and gather as much information as you can. Many contests operate without HD involvement, and you will find this is much, much simpler than trying to get BBQ teams to comply with all the rules created for commercial food producers.

Often HDs will have a hands-off policy on BBQ contests that do not serve food to the general public. (Judges don't count because they sign your waiver) However, once you call them and draw their attention they may feel compelled to send an inspector to your event. I wouldn't throw yourself under that bus if I didn't have to.
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Unread 06-10-2013, 02:20 PM   #6
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^^^ sage advice. I've only worked on a few BBQ comps organizing, but I've seen MANY chili comps go by the way side thanks to zealous HD's...
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Unread 06-10-2013, 02:24 PM   #7
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I wonder if you contact the organizer of the Clarksville event and ask them for input, I bet they would be willing to help. Probably wait a couple/three weeks of course.
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Unread 06-10-2013, 04:52 PM   #8
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If you are planning on serving food to the public (or having teams do so) you run the risk of having the DoH closing down the event if you don't have your ducks in a row and have their approval. I understand what other posters have said about flying under the radar, but you should definitely look at both sides of the coin before making a decision.

The DoH should have prepared guidelines for festivals. Get a copy of that and read it thoroughly. At the very least, ensure that everyone serving food to anyone has what the DoH requires. That way if they do show up you at least have the basics covered.

Are you actively working with the Wounded Warriors or are you just planning on donating the money to them after the fact? A lot of charities require you to follow certain guidelines if you are using their name associated with their event. I'd contact them, let them know what you propose and see what they have to say.

How are you planning on generating money? Most BBQ events either lose money or are just scrapping by. There's lots of ideas on how to monitize contests, but they aren't all obvious or intuitive. There's a lot of overhead involved and costs to be covered.

I'm not trying to discourage you, just pointing out a few concerns.

If you decide that a competition is a bit too ambitious for right now, you may want to consider a cook at a VA hospital where you can cook for veterans and members of the Wounded Warriors Project. You can make lots of contacts with various sponsors (who could donated ingredients, tents, tables, meats, fuel, grills, etc.) and convert them into event sponsors next year. Building relationships is critical for any ongoing contest.

Good luck and please let us know how we can help!

Eric
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