Hawgeyes BBQ

2005 Senior Q

October 15, 2005

Senior Barbeque in Ankeny, Iowa
By Mike Tucker, HawgeyesBBQ.com

                On Saturday, October 15, 2005 a small group of volunteers gathered to celebrate their love of BBQ and respect for their community seniors.   It was a gorgeous day in Ankeny, with clear skies, a light breeze and highs in the mid 70s’. The location selected for the celebration was the Sunnyview Care Facility, which houses approximately 100 residents.   I selected the facility because of the initial response I received when I called them with the idea. There was no hesitation at all; they were all over it.  The first contact I made was with Deb Koedam, the corporate nurse. She took the time to visit with me about the idea, and said they would help in anyway possible to make it a success. I was also working with Crystal Hodak, who was the administrator.  Both women did a fantastic job of sending out invitations, making seating arrangements, providing drinks, deserts, and making sure everything ran smoothly. In fact, the entire staff at Sunnyview really got in to the day, and made sure the residents had a good time. Our group of volunteers was a small one. There was Bret Wram, Darren Warth, Sherry Warth, Karen Kelly, and myself. One thing worthy of mention, Darren and Sherry Warth make up the competition BBQ team “Smokin Clones”. They are currently the number 1 ranked team in the state, and one of the top teams in the nation. So, we knew the food was sure to be good. We are also lucky to have gained a good friend in the Sysco Food Company, who has supplied us with food for several of our activities, including this one. Chuck Heitbrink always has an open mind for helping us. He also works with us on our children’s projects (ribs’ for Kids) and our tree and food giveaway with Urban Dreams. We were also able to have sauce provided by Russ and Franks, owner Russ Cerniglia, and chicken provided by Martin Brothers Foods.
        So, with all of this great support it was time to get the day underway. Darren arrived at my place at 8:30am with his large competition trailer in tow. Its’ completely self contained and health code compliant. It has refrigeration, sinks, and a built in smoker.  From here we headed to Sunnyview. We sat up in the “backyard” of the facility. They had a beautifully landscaped courtyard, complete with a patio area for serving. We were just outside and had the smoker fired up by 9am. The trees, crisp morning, and the light haze and smell of smoke was fantastic.  Darren had cooked the brisket overnight (12-14hours), so all we had to do was put on our chicken breast strips and pork loin. We sat and drank coffee and the meat slow smoked. Soon Darrens’ wife Sherry, and Karen Kelly joined us. Karen is the treasurer for the Iowa Barbeque Society (IABBQ.org). The women went in to action setting up the serving area, and getting things ready for the 12 o’clock serving time. Darren brought a four-compartment steam table, which made serving easy. The menu consisted of slow smoked beef brisket, smoked boneless chicken, and smoked pork loin. The sides included coleslaw, potato salad, pasta salad, and slow smoked baked beans. The beans had a special meaning to me, as the recipe was from a friend in Kansas City, named Rick Salmon. Sunnyview Care Facility provided the beverages. Their chef even prepared chocolate chip and sugar cookies, fresh out of the oven for desert. It was a fantastic spread.  About 12 o’clock the residents and family members began filing out into the courtyard to enjoy a beautiful afternoon in the courtyard. It was a steady stream of people for the next couple of hours.  Everyone had their fill of some of the best bbq available, and a chance to spend some quality time in the outdoors with their loved ones.  The perfect weather and magnificent fall color added to the experience. 
         In closing, obviously I would like to thank everyone who made this project run so smoothly. This was the first event for us, and I guarantee it will become an annual tradition in October for us. It was also the inaugural kickoff for a national campaign of respecting our elders, called “Senior Q”. People from across the nation are encouraged to participate in some sort of bbq related event relating to senior citizens. You can check it out at www.hawgeyesbbq.com/seniorq. The goal of our project, and the national project, is to let people know that later in life they are still important to us. They are not someone who is no longer an asset to the community, they are a wealth of history, knowledge, and should be considered a national treasure. We did our best on Saturday. We treated them with the respect they deserve, and they appreciated it. Some of the residents had not been outside in months. Some had not smiled for months. We saw a bunch of smiles that day, as approximately 200 people gathered at the care facility. People who cared.           

Hawgeyes BBQ
1313 SW Ordnance Rd
Ankeny, Iowa 50023
T 877.841.7192 or 515.965.1206
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