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Pearls of Wisdom: The Glen Ellyn Backyard BBQ Committee

September 5, 2018

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When a group of Glen Ellyn friends and neighbors joined together in 2009 to launch a block party/barbecue in their neighborhood, they didn’t expect it would soon become the largest amateur barbeque competition in the state of Illinois.

They didn’t know that their lives would be forever changed by their involvement with a nonprofit, either. But all of us at Bridge Communities sure are glad that was the case.

Says Chip Miller, Co-chairman of the Glen Ellyn Backyard BBQ, “We started the BBQ with the intention of bringing people to town, and we had to find a charity. Bridge was that charity, and I think it was about three or four years in that a lot of us decided that this was really a special place, and the work they do is incredible. And all the people that are on the committee are focused on the charity and want to make the best event possible, both to raise money for Bridge and to bring people to the community.”

Each year, the Glen Ellyn Backyard BBQ hosts approximately 60 teams competing in the ultimate barbecue cookoff, making ribs, chicken, side dishes and their own signature sauces. The event also welcomes thousands of attendees, enjoying the food and beer trucks, raffles, Piglet’s Playland kiddie area, and free concerts throughout the day and night.

Says Ralph Covert, who’s also a BBQ performer with his band Ralph Covert and the Bad Examples, “What Bridge has taught me is that the world is full of good people that are trying to help other people. That’s what they do at Bridge, and I’m honored to be able to help out through the BBQ event.”

Each year, the BBQ raises enough funding to house five homeless families for an entire year! “We’re really excited at the end of the day when we’ve realized we’ve raised $50,000 to $60,000 for Bridge to help the homeless families,” says Chip. “We’ve met some of the families, and they’ve spoken with us, and we’re always excited to get to know them.”

The 10th Annual Glen Ellyn Backyard BBQ will be in downtown Glen Ellyn on Saturday, September 8—we look forward to celebrating 10 years of this philanthropy with you!

Thank you to our Pearls of Wisdom volunteers Lisa Sallwasser and Geoff Bevington, and to our 30th Anniversary Media Sponsor Compass Mortgage!

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