Hawgeyes BBQ

2005 Senior Q

November 13, 2005

November 13, 2005

Dear Mike,
I went to sit down to write an "article" for you about our wonderful experience @ the Vancrest Nursing Home. But I just for the life of me couldn't put anything into words as the saying in my Chinese Fortune Cookie kept repeating in my head....
He that gives should not remember, he that receives should never forget.
So in lieu of the fact that I called the activities director at Vancrest to "do the honors" and she was to have e-mailed the letter to us the next day Nov 10th this past Thursday (she was sick and didn't come to work that day :o()
Well Tom and I own THE Q-SHACK a mobile Log Cabin that serves as the local BBQ restaurant in Eaton OH. We are open 11-7 Tuesdays through Saturday serving our fine folk Real Authentic Pit BBQ smoked over hard wood. We serve Farm Fresh Chicken, Texas Style Beef Brisket, St Louis Style Ribs, and Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwiches with a plethora of Home style Comfort Food for sides.
Tom decided to choose The Vancrest Nursing Home as several employees come for BBQ throughout their work week. Our first dialogue with Carol the activities director informed us that we would serve 77 patients, as well as the employees perhaps we should plan for 125, then later she called to ask if we would consider incorporating that Saturday as FAMILY DAY. We agreed there would be an advantage for all of the patients to feed their families and to really make it an occasion. So we increased our number to 180.
The menu that we put together was the following:
Pulled Pork Sandwich on a Hoagie Roll, BBQ Beans,Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole, Fresh Coleslaw, Garlic Dill Strips, Sweet Bread & Butter Pickles and our infamous Cowpie (a 1/4 # chocolate chip cookie) for dessert.
We also have a special tradition at the Q-SHACK whenever we serve a couple that has been married over 30 years they receive this delicious cookie as an Anniversary gift from us, appropriately named for such an occasion as they certainly have both put up with their share of BS after thirty years of wedded bliss! We always share a good laugh when presenting dessert and explaining the "Cowpie" theory to them... We love to honor the sanctity of marriage!!
Well back to our story of Honoring our National Treasures. We arrived to set up the BBQ Buffet and were introduced to the Head Cook "Marty", a delightful gentleman with a real heart to feed his folks well. He was completely deferring and quickly stepped aside for us to do our thang...and ready within earshot to help us with anything we may have needed, like a slotted spoon for the beans as well as taking our back-up beans out of the oven.
The activities director greeted us with an exuberant smile eager to watch her "folks" and their families enjoy a great BBQ luncheon. She approached us with wide eyes to inform us that the phone had been ringing off the hook with more families calling to ask if it was still OK to come and bring a few more...you could tell from the look on her face that she was definitely worried about the prior numbers that she had told us to cook for...Tom and I assured her to tell everyone that they were welcome!!
Next we met all of the wonderful CNA's Certified Nursing Assistants, who came through the buffet line drooling and telling us over and over again how wonderful it smelled and how they all hoped that there would be enough by the time they finished serving the multitude... we tried to reassure them that we would feed them well for their patient servants hearts!
We managed to make it through the entire nursing facility with enough food for each of the patients and their respective groups... The rest of the employees made it through the line even with requests for DOUBLE CHEESY POTATOES!!
We stood back and watched the folks enjoy their families and fellowship and looked into the eyes of the elderly with much gratitude and respect. Personally I wondered indeed what these beloved folks had weathered in their lifetimes.
The Activities Director Carol approached us after everyone had been taken back to their rooms, and announced that she would be sending us a check as several of the family members had inquired just how this party had come about? Carol told them how we were members of The National BBQ News and how the Honor Your National Treasures had encouraged all of the BBQ'rs to become involved in our local communities to serve them. The folks were incredulous that a business owner had taken the initiative to
just call and volunteer to feed 260 people free of charge! But giving back to our community is what good
will is all about. We told Carol that she should keep her monies (people were shoving it at her and stuffing it into her planter and her pockets were full of cash) for her employee Christmas party. She was adamant and refused.
We have decided to make this an annual occasion for the folks at Vancrest. We have fed thousands of folks, but we have to admit that this takes the cake for giving us the most satisfaction and pleasure.
So to all who came up with the idea for Honoring our National Treasures we thank-you and we are certainly privileged to be a part.
Happy Trails!
Tom & Wendy Baumbach
Eaton, OH

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