ARDMORE (KXII) - “If there's a barbecue, you're going to find what you like here. We invite everyone to come down to downtown Ardmore,” Executive Director with United Way of Southern Oklahoma Tobi Ervin said.
Winding into the last hour of the 6th annual barbecue showdown, people gather by the stage for the auction on July 13, 2019.
The 6th annual BBQ showdown presented by Valero and United Way in Ardmore is in its sixth year to give back to nonprofits in south-central Oklahoma.
Ervin said the total funds from each year continues to grow and they are expecting to hit a new record with their fundraising.
"The goal was at $140, 000,” Ervin said. “They almost raised that last year, and it may go over that this year, and we're most grateful for our partners at Valero and all of the incredible teams that are coming to participate."
A total of $160,000 was raised, and it was $20,000 more than last year’s anticipated goal. But everything made is going back to the 47 United Way partners in central Oklahoma counties.
"Our agency partners are all nonprofits that serve children, families and senior citizens. They address literacy, they address homelessness and they address any need a family will need this time of year.”
According to an United Way representative, all 40 teams competing in the showdown are partners with the Valero Ardmore Refinery and have come from around the United States to compete in the showdown.
"It's a big deal to the community, and it's pretty great to see the community involvement and see what Valero is doing with United Way for the community,” said Andrew Isenbart with the Stronghold Company.
Volunteers from around 25 nonprofits like the Family Shelter of Southern Oklahoma showed their support by bringing members to help with the event.
"It's a win-win. You get to come out and enjoy some fantastic food and support local organizations such as the family shelter,” said Executive Director Kathy Manning with the Family Shelter of Southern Oklahoma.
All of the 1st place winning barbecue teams won a cash prize and t-shirts, but all teams decided to donate their winnings back to United Way.