Smokin’ hot BBQ raises funds for Heater Meals

Mmmm. What is that delicious aroma?

BBQ Luncheon - Heater MealsIt is the product of the secret recipes of a couple of part-time barbecue chefs – Don Rau, Swope Health facilities manager, and John Morris, Swope Health supervisor of materials management. The two colleagues are cooking up a BBQ lunch for their colleagues as a fundraiser for our Outreach Services program.

The event is the product of a shared passion for barbecue and for supporting Swope Health patients who are experiencing homelessness.

“We bonded over barbecue,” Don recalls. “We’d sometimes cook for department lunches and others.”

When the two learned about a need for Heater Meals in the outreach program, they decided there had to be a way they could help. They hit on the idea of hosting a barbecue lunch for Swope Health associates.

BBQ Luncheon

The luncheon will be part of Swope Health’s celebration of National Health Center Week, on Friday, Aug. 9. The meal consists of a choice of ribs, veggie/black bean burgers, pork or brisket sandwiches, plus beans, slaw, chips and water.

John said he has been smoking meat for more than 30 years, inspired by his dad who taught him the basics of grilling when much younger. Since then, he has expanded his menu to include turkey, ribs, pork and brisket. He has also developed his own special recipes of rubs and spices.

Don got his inspiration from his father. “I started grilling at my Daddy’s knee,” said Don, “I guess I was about 8 years old.”

About 20 years ago, Don started entering contests and “got serious” about smoking meats. He also started developing rubs and sauces of his own.

“I do it because I love it,” he said. “I enjoy cooking and feeding people.”

The two chefs, both military veterans, over the years found they had a lot in common as they shared tips and suggestions. While they swap cooking and grilling stories between themselves, don’t expect them to share their recipes.

“Oh, no,” John said, “it’s a secret.”

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