Ardmore BBQ Showdown smashes fundraising goal - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Ardmore BBQ Showdown smashes fundraising goal

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The 2018 United Way BBQ Showdown in Ardmore exceeded all expectations. (Twitter/@_TNTCrane) The 2018 United Way BBQ Showdown in Ardmore exceeded all expectations. (Twitter/@_TNTCrane)
The Naomi House in Ardmore is one of the beneficiaries of the United Way BBQ Showdown. (KTEN) The Naomi House in Ardmore is one of the beneficiaries of the United Way BBQ Showdown. (KTEN)

ARDMORE, Okla. -- The fifth annual United Way BBQ Showdown in Ardmore raised a record amount over the weekend.

The goal for this year was $80,000, but the community surpassed those expectations -- and then some.

"$120,000 is what actually ended up being the result of that big event," said United Way of South Central Oklahoma executive director Tobi Ervin, adding that the total will be spread among the 37 agencies that they partner with.

And it wasn't just cash. More than 100 pounds of meat was donated to three sober living agencies that helped clean up after the event.

"They get to reap the benefits of some good barbecue for doing it, but they picked up every scrap of paper on the ground," Ervin said. "They took every small dumpster and put them in the big dumpsters."

One of those agencies was the Naomi House of Ardmore, which serves as a recovery home for women. Founder Cheryl Andrews said the experience was a meaningful one for those who volunteered.

"We always try to get our ladies to volunteer for these events, which they had a blast," Andrews said. "They were able to give back and to enjoy -- not only the food, but the fellowship and fun as well."

More than 2,000 attended the BBQ Showdown, which was sponsored by the Valero refinery in Ardmore, and Ervin said that reflects local support.

"Our community, overall, is very supportive," she said. "Valero has these wonderful connections with companies and businesses that are willing to be very generous to our community."

Three teams participating in the barbecue competition donated $500 each to the United Way.

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