BBQ Heroes is our passion project. We strive to find amazing organizations in this world who selflessly give back to their communities and award them with a BBQ experience.
In 2019, Gary Hargis of Nashville, TN became our first BBQ Hero. With the help of our partners, we were able to give the BBQ Hero a Traeger grill, meat, supplies and pitmaster lessons. Hargis facilitates the Firemen that Care organization which aids First Responders who have gone through some sort of event or misfortune. Because of Hargis’ drive to help those around him, we were proud to partner with Traeger Grills to present Hargis with a smoker, and Frank and Robin Shope of Hart Ace Hardware provided BBQ supplies. The Plantation Pub graciously hosted the event.
Jim Habacker was our inside man and helped us facilitate the surprise for Hargis. Habacker is also a altruistic community leader who co-founded the American River Strokers, a non-profit that supports Military, Veterans, First Responders and their families through various fundraising and events, including river floats. After announcing our BBQ Hero, we were able to hold a BBQ fundraiser at the Plantation Pub for the American River Strokers organization.
In 2021, we were able to check back in with Hargis and Habacker to learn the continued good they’ve done in their communities. We again partnered with our friends at Hart Ace Hardware to present a Traeger grill to the newly constructed Bellevue 37 Firehall on behalf of Hargis.
In August of 2022, our BBQ Heroes project took on a new form as a TV pilot. It’s formatted as a competition-style show that combines that art of BBQ and raising money for non-profit organizations.
In the episode, we pitted Patrick with Eagle Mount against Chloe of Heroes and Horses in a battle of the BBQ. Rick teamed up with Chloe and Ty with Patrick; each pitmaster taught their respective contestant how to make a competition-style rack of ribs. Then, they were tasked with putting the lessons they learned to the test by making a rack of ribs on their own.
Once the judges determed the BEST rack of ribs, based on tenderness, taste and presentation; Chloe (Heroes & Horses) was named the winner. Heroes & Horses received a donation of $5000, and Chloe got to participate in the Montana Pitmaster Classic KCBS competition along side Ty and Rick.
We are grateful for our generous sponsors that help us facilitate this endeavor: the products needed to make the ribs: Compart Family Farms provided their quality pork ribs, Royal Oak Charcoal provided the pellets and Traeger donated 2 grills and accessories. We were lucky enough to have talented actress and singer, Lauren Mayhew as our show host. She set the stage for a great competition with her skillful narration. We received incredible support from the Element Hotel, who provided a shooting location, as well as rooms for our cast and crew. Kenyon Noble was instrumental as our main shoot location and provided unparalleled support and promotion for our pilot. Lastly, thank you to the Montana Film Office for awarding us the Big Sky Film Grant that allowed us to bring this pilot to fruition.