August 27, 2014 // Franchising.com // Jacksonville, Florida - In July 2014, the "Original" Woody's Bar-B-Q on University Boulevard in Jacksonville, Florida hosted its popular Annual Spare Rib Eating Contest and VIP Party to celebrate the company's rich and flavorful history that spans more than 30 years while raising funds to benefit the First Coast Child Protection Team. Also known as Healing Hands, this deserving non-profit organization provides services to children who have been victims of abuse or neglect in Florida's Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns counties. Guests of the July 26 event either witnessed or took part in a Spare Rib Eating Contest, in which John Bello was crowned victor for setting a new record of 22 ribs downed in just 5 minutes – after which he astonishingly still had room for cake. Runner-up Travis Oliver placed second with 18 ribs. As a result of proceeds from the event – which included participation fees from the contest, admission to the VIP after party, and silent auction sales – Woody's Bar-B-Q was able to raise $10,000 to benefit the First Coast Child Protection Team.
"We have chosen to benefit this particular charity for the past two years because Woody's feels we have made a real and concrete step to help Healing Hands protect 'our children' – children in need right here where we live and work," said Yolanda Mills-Mawman, co-founder of the national barbecue franchise. "Between last year and this year's events, we are so proud to have raised over $24,000 to help provide much-needed services to at-risk children while raising awareness of the important work Healing Hands strives to do every day in the North Florida community."
With the assistance of donations from caring community partners and funding through the Department of Health's Children's Medical Services program, Office of the Attorney General, and Child Advocacy Centers, the First Coast Child Protection Team served approximately 2500 children last year alone. Funds raised by Woody's Bar-B-Q will help provide the following to the Healing Hands program:
In addition to doing their part to support this worthy cause and getting their fill of Woody's famous Smokin' Spare Ribs, all participants of the contest received an "I'm a Total Pig" t-shirt. Winner Bello was awarded a $150 Q Card, and runner-up Oliver received a $50 Q Card. Local celebrities in attendance at the event included beloved Jacksonville Jaguars' mascot, Jaxson De Ville and Jacksonville Action News co-anchor, Mark Spain. As terrific as this year's event was, Mills-Mawman stated that plans are already underway to make NEXT year's Spare Rib Eating Contest and VIP Party even bigger and better.
After opening their first Woody's Bar-B-Q in 1980, partners Woody Mills and Yolanda Mills-Mawman have spent the past three decades setting the "bar" higher for great Southern Bar-B-Q. From the humble beginnings of just one location in Jacksonville, Florida, a shared passion for Bar-B-Q, and a dog-eared collection of recipes, Mills and Mawman have grown the Woody's Bar-B-Q brand to locations reaching from the Deep South where Bar-B-Q is king to the Northeast and Western fronts. Perhaps best known for their legendary melt-in-your-mouth slow-smoked Signature Baby Back Ribs, Woody's has also built quite a following among patrons with their secret recipe Bar-B-Q sauces and meats, as well as their freshly prepared side dishes. To learn more about Woody's Bar-B-Q, please visit www.woodys.com.
SOURCE Woody's Bar-B-Q
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