World Series of BBQ holds event to benefit Operation BBQ Relief - KCTV5

World Series of BBQ holds event to benefit Operation BBQ Relief

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Operation BBQ Relief is holding their annual fundraiser at the American Royal and they say it’s more than a barbecue competition. (KCTV5) Operation BBQ Relief is holding their annual fundraiser at the American Royal and they say it’s more than a barbecue competition. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -

The World Series of BBQ is underway at the 2017 American Royal.

More than 400 teams are cooking everything from brisket to pulled pork to compete in the competition and at this year’s competition, one group is hoping their food does more than just take home an award.

Operation BBQ Relief is holding their annual fundraiser at the American Royal and they say it’s more than a barbecue competition.

“Been cooking for about 18 hours right now,” Allen Smith, the Tennessee state lead for Operation BBQ Relief said. “It’s tears, it’s hard work, it’s blood, it’s sweat but at the end of the day it’s very rewarding.”

While pit masters turn up the heat on the grills and smokers, other volunteers with Operation BBQ Relief are busy cooking in a different state.  

“Last night in Houston, we served 28,400 meals, just yesterday,” Chief Marketing Officer for Operation BBQ Relief David Marks said.

Anytime the nation experiences a disaster, the volunteers head out to help serve food to people who lost everything.

“You can’t imagine what these folks have been through you can’t imagine what they are seeing,” Marks said. “Our folks are seeing stuff that’s really hard to see and they are working really hard to cook these meals.”

And the volunteers are sharing high-quality BBQ. World champions from all over the country are smoking their meat for the fundraiser.

“Way more than a meal, it's fuel for the soul,” Marks said.

As the American Royal opens to the public on Friday at noon, people can fill their bellies for $25 and leave knowing their money was well spent.

“The compassion that we have for cooking, and the friends that we meet on the BBQ trail is what we strive for. It’s what we like to do,” Smith said.

When the competition ends, many in Kansas City will be heading to Texas to help relieve the team that is already there.

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