Saucy send-off

Legacy project for Leadership Blount '07 class mixes fun with funds

By Lance Coleman
Blount Today

Leadership Blount Class of 2007 members Randy Massey and David Dwyer are taking a team approach to how they will measure whether or not the upcoming Big Barbeque Bash, which is the Legacy Project for the class, is a success.

"My whole focus on this is, when I wake up on Sunday (June 17), and I know 10 people I didn’t know Friday morning, this
thing was a total success," said Massey.

"And if we raised $30,000," added Dwyer.

The give-and-take, soft-sell/hard sell of two of the organizers fits the Bash mold perfectly. According to class members, the Big Barbeque Bash is all about fun and funds.

The bash will be Friday, June 15, and Saturday, June 16, at Springbrook Corporate Center. Leadership Blount Class of 2007 have chosen New Hope Children’s Advocacy Center to receive the proceeds from their part of the event, although the event is organized to benefit other charities as well.

Massey said the Big Barbeque Bash will be as much about community as it will be about competition among
amateurs. "Someone will bring a fire pit, and everyone will sit and talk, and there will be someone telling stories and laughing. That’s what a community is," he said.

While there will be music and plenty of barbecue, plus games for youngsters, Massey said the real fun will be getting to know others enjoying good food. "You get to walk and sit and talk to these people and share what they put on their barbecue," he said.

Melissa Copelan said recipes can be entertaining. "There’s a story behind every one," she said.

"Someone had to teach them," Marty Millsaps said. "It’s something we can pass down."

Copelan said that community spirit is what is driving this legacy project. "It’s how you define a legacy project, creating a reality that lasts a long time and has a significant impact on the community," she said.

Massey said the competition’s organizers aren’t looking for professional barbecue gurus that haul big tandem axle grills to different events around the country. "We’re after the guy who cooks a great pulled pork, Boston Butt or pork shoulder," he said.

"We’re after church groups or guys that get in backyard and barbecue. We’re after the little small neighborhood teams. It’s like tailgating in the middle of June."

While there will be winners, Massey says it’s competition for fun. "This is for the guy who doesn’t have to cook 40 pounds of pork but just cooks two racks of ribs and wins. He can actually win if he’s good enough. Everyone has their own idea of what makes good barbecue."

Dwyer said one professional barbecue specialist will be on hand, but not to compete. "We’ll have a consummate professional there to give a barbecue class," he said.

Set up for the event will be June 15. In the afternoon of June 16, there will be children’s entertainment. The musical entertainment will be from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. on June 16, Dwyer said.

There will be two division, corporate and neighborhood. Each division will have teams competing barbecuing chicken, pulled pork or pork ribs.

Massey said the winner in each competition will choose which Blount County charity receives their cash prizes. The amount of each prize will be determined based on how many teams sign up, he said.

Entry fees start at $250 and vary depending on the amount of space each competitor requests. For individuals or groups who don’t have the entry fee, help is available. "There will be sponsorships available if you can’t come up with the fee," Dwyer said. "We want you cooking."

"The purpose is to raise money, but if there’s a team committed to putting together an entry, we’ll see if we can help them," Doug Horn said.

Massey said lack of ability to pay the entrance fee shouldn’t prohibit someone with a good recipe from competing.

Neighborhood teams can work with corporate sponsors who don’t have a barbecue team. The teams get to compete and the corporate sponsors get to name the charity the team benefits, Massey said.

The push right now is to get the teams signed up. Teams can sign up On-line or request an entry form by phone.

For information about the Big Barbeque Bash, call 583-8182, or on the web at

The sponsors for the event include Massey Electric, West Chevrolet, City of Alcoa, Cherokee Millwright, Alcoa, Inc., Denso
and Blount Today.

© 2007 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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