Capitalist Pigs’ barbecue raises $12,000 for cancer research

And 1 minute after the “official” Relay Roast picture was taken…

Photo by Sherri Gardner Howell

And 1 minute after the “official” Relay Roast picture was taken…

The Capitalist Pigs, a group of friends with a passion for smokin’ barbecue, combined their love of food, fun and fellowship to generate $12,000 for cancer research during the Capitalist Pigs inaugural Relay Roast at Smithview Pavilion.

The pavilion was packed Saturday evening, April 9, as folks turned out for delicious barbecue smoked on site by group leader Kevin Painter and members of his pit crew. The Chillbillies performed while folks danced throughout the night. Painter said it was a fun evening that raised money for a great cause.

“It looks like we raised $12,000. We really appreciate our corporate sponsors and the volunteers, our great friends and the people of the community who came out to support the event, which ultimately supports those fighting cancer,” he said.

Painter, co-founder of LeConte Wealth Management, said he and several friends started planning the event about six months ago. “The most enjoyable part was seeing so many people willing to give their time, effort and money to this cause,” he said. “It is very humbling.”

Pit crew member and Maryville Vice Mayor Andy White said the evening was a chance for friends to gather for a fun time. “It was an opportunity to have a fun time for a great cause,” he said. “We so appreciate the community supporting us.”

Bryan Daniels, president and CEO of the Blount Partnership, also served on the pit crew. “The reason we do it is because you have a group of people who love this community very much, and cancer has touched every one of us,” he said. “It touched my family and took the life of my mentor, Fred Forster. Anything we can do to give back to this community, we want to do, especially helping to find a cure for cancer.”

Pit crew member and dentist Chip Webb said he fought kidney cancer at one point in his life. “This has been a personal thing for me, but this event also gives us an opportunity to get together with friends and smoke barbecue,” he said.

Pit crew member John Elder said the event had a lot of people volunteering to make it happen. “I think it’s a great cause, and I wanted to help,” he said.

Kroger of Maryville co-manager Lynn Cox said he and other members of the Capitalist Pigs pit crew have donated their time and energy for Relay for several years, but this was the first time they sold their barbecue on a separate day from the Relay event held annually at Maryville College. “It’s an incredible event and an incredible cause. Cancer affects everyone, and you’ve got to help,” he said.

Pit crew member Bill Eanes, director of Economic and Workforce Development with the Economic Development Board, said the event was an absolute success. “There’s nobody on this team not affected by cancer. Having a great time with friends and raising money for cancer research, there’s no better way to spend a Saturday night,” he said.

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