The smell of barbecue wafted above the clouds of smoke emitting from approximately 60 different barbecue pits as teams converged on Tin Roof BBQ in Atascocita for the third year.

Consecutively, the annual barbecue cookoff and funds raised through the event benefit the Banded Brigade Outdoors, a nonprofit dedicated to connecting with veterans and providing two hunts a year for them.

Julian Perez and Miguel Valdez with Crush City Cookers check their chicken before turn-in during the Tin Roof BBQ cookoff benefiting Banded Brigade Outdoors. Photos by Jennifer Summer

Their biggest turnout yet, the cookoff kicked off Saturday, June 3 and ended Sunday, June 4 with an awards ceremony and special presentation from Banded Brigade Outdoors representatives to Tin Roof owners Nancy and Ronnie Webber. They were presented a wooden plaque thanking them for their continued support of the organization.

“We are so honored to host this cookoff and raise money for Banded Brigade Outdoors,” Ronnie said. “We were excited to have people come out to learn more about the nonprofit. Our restaurant didn’t make anything off this cookoff. We want everything from this event to benefit our veterans.”

For the past several years, Ronnie has provided meals for the veterans when they are out on their scheduled hunts.

“Ronnie provides the meals for the first and second night; we have been more than thankful,” Scott Bornman, COO of the organization, said. “After cooking our meals for a few years, Ronnie came to me and suggested organizing a cookoff at Tin Roof to raise money for Banded Brigade.”

The first year there were approximately 15 teams signed up to compete. By the second year, there was close to 30 teams and this year, approximately 60 teams signed up to compete. This year’s barbecue cookoff was a sanctioned competition and included cash prizes.

Despite the thrill of competing and the excitement of the possibility of winning, many teams wanted to be a part of the third annual cookoff to support veterans and Banded Brigade Outdoors. They hope to continue hosting this cookoff for many years to come and may possibly change venues to allow for the cookoff to continue expanding.

Ric Halbrook with Humble Pit Crew inspects their chicken before turn-ins during the Tin Roof BBQ cookoff.

According to the nonprofit’s website, “Banded Brigade provides morale-boosting outdoor events for those who have served in any branch of the military. Through social reintegration, these activities encourage active duty service members and returning veterans to achieve independence they never thought possible.”

“When we first started, we set up two hunts a year – a teal hunt in September and a big duck hunt in January,” Bornman said. “In 2012, I was introduced to former Dynamo player Brad Davis and we combined our charities to form Banded Brigade Outdoors. Our goal was in place to take care of 25 veterans a year and now, eight years later, we have 641 veterans we have taken out on events. And we keep growing. We want the veterans to get the most out of these events.”

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Jennifer L. Summer
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