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Twentynine Palms Marine Base,
Winterfest Saturday Dinner at the Base Community Center
1-2-December-2006
    
Cooks & Volunteers Contributing & Cooking
for Marines & their Families
1000+ Marines & Families were in Attendance Saturday ...  
       

< Click to visit website BBQ ARTICLE INDEX  and see more historical and statistical information >
           
< Click here to view recent and past volunteer Military Cooking activities >
   
     

Joe Miles & Linda Burke John Scott & Todd Eves Kim, Gunny (Del's dog) and Del King
    
Tony McDowell & Bill Wight
Kim Walton & Sharon Scott Me (Dan) & Brent Brent Walton & Thom Emery
              
Todd, Kim, Brent, & Thom
JROTC volunteers Friday night in the cold Volunteers posed at the Papa's Smokehouse BBQ trailer
  
Friday night team group picture in the community center
       
Bill Wight doing breakfast & Dirty rice
Getting ready to do brisket
   
Brent Walton, Joe Miles, Glen Stanley, John Scott Tony McDowell preparing hot dogs
             
Linda Burke ready for serving
Linda Burke and JROTC Serving line Families picking up Christmas Trees
 
Marines & Families
       
Marines & Families
Marines & Families Marines & Families Marines & Families
        
    

Friday Night Arrival and Setup

Most volunteers had indicated they would be arriving Friday around 18:00.  That would typically be after their day job was over and they could then rush like crazy to gather together the supplies and equipment they needed. Then head out to Twentynine Palms Marine Base as quickly as possible.

  

I was lucky in that I had gone into work about 4 hours early and ended up arriving at the base by 16:30.    There standing on the sidewalk adjacent to the community center was Del.   He reviewed the facilities with me and then guided me into my setup and parking spot for the duration.

  

I was able to have everything setup by 17:00 and just sit back to watch all the subsequent arrivals and their going through the same routine. Tony McDowell was also there and provided everybody with any needed information or supplies. 

  

Folks & Volunteers Arriving and in Attendance were

  • Tony McDowell

  • Thom Emery

  • Del King and Gunny (his dog)

  • Bill Wight

  • Joe Miles

  • Linda Burke

  • Glen and Kyle Stanley

  • Steve MacMillan

  • John Tong

  • John & Sharon Scott of Papa's Smokehouse BBQ

  • Brent & Kim Walton of QN4U BBQ

  • Todd Eves of Western Rebel BBQ

  • Dan Cannon (me) of BBQbyDan

  • Seven attending Junior Reserve Officer Training Candidates (JROTC) and their group leader.

  

Most everyone was on site and relaxing by 19:00.  Tony McDowell, Joe Miles, and Linda Burke were pulling double duty in that they had come directly over to the community center from the sport field where they had worked with another group of volunteers all day feeding the troops at the Combat Challenge. 

  

After most all folks had arrived Friday evening Tony went out and picked up $60 worth of pizza for everybody to enjoy.  Can you believe there was NO wind (we have had a lot the last two weeks), the evening temperature was a mild 38-42 (we have had a cold snap also) , and we had a nice relaxing dinner while catching up with new and old friendships.  Most folks were staying in the base hotel.   John and Sharon were staying in their motor home at the center.  I was sleeping in my van by my pit.    However, the community center remained open all evening for everybody's convenience.  What a very nice thing that was.

  

About 20:00 everybody started to prep the 19 Briskets that Del had brought.  That probably took 30-45 minutes.  We then popped them into my Ole Hickory and were done with that task for the evening.  After  that it was just  a  matter  of  wrapping  up  loose  ends,  settling in for the evening, and enjoying  the social environment while  hanging  around  a  couple of dollied propane infrared radiant heaters I brought out to stay warm by.

  

Saturday Morning Preparation and Serving

I got up just prior to 08:00.  Del and Gunny were already up and checking out the grounds.  I checked the briskets and they were done.  All 19 went into a cooler.

  

Bill Wight arrived and we made (mostly he) breakfast for everybody. Again thanks to Tony we had eggs and bacon for all.  After breakfast Bill and I started two 24 quart braziers of Dirty Rice that would feed roughly 300+ folks.    We completed that and dropped it into the Cambros.  John, Sharon, Brent, and Glen, then started slicing the brisket which took about 60-90 minutes.  Somebody threw a split turkey into my pit and we hurried up and got that ready for our 11:00 serving time.

  

By 11:00 everything was ready to go.    The serving line was setup, volunteers in place, and folks started arriving.    Joe Miles and Linda helped with the serving line a lot and also served.  The JROTC volunteers did the bulk of the serving and hung in there for close to 4 hours. We were told they opened up the lunch to the base.  So, we had a lot of attendees.  A Christmas tree vendor had also contributed 300 trees to the families.  So, not only could the attendees come over and have a nice meal they also got a nice Christmas tree.

  

So, after a few hours most all the planned and prepared food was used up. Tony and the base folks quickly had to acquire more food from the base facilities.  After all, the lines were out the front door and into the parking lot with families waiting for a meal!  Magically from somewhere more potato salad, hamburgers, hot dogs, buns, and whatever, appeared.  Then the volunteers built a quick BBQ fire and toasted the buns, and grilled the burgers and dogs.  At the end of the day nobody (that I am aware of) went away without a meal, most all got a tree, and everybody in attendance making this event happen had done a great job.  It is nice to go to an event where all the food is used and the attendance was much greater than expected.   

 

From my low-altitude perspective everything went great, everybody did a great job, and it went perfectly.  I want to thank Glen and Kyle for doing such a great job and helping wash, clean, and dry so much of the (my) cooking utensils, that was a big help.  Also, John and Sharon brought out their great looking and very functional Papa’s BBQ Rig to provide hardware and facilitation support.  And the JROTC volunteers and staff  were the best.  Always right there to help in any way they can to the maximum, as usual.

  

Del King and Tony McDowell did a great job of coordinating the event, volunteers, resources, and ensuring everybody was provided with what they needed to make everything perfect.  I always appreciate being asked to be a part of these great events.

  

Dan Cannon

www.BBQbyDan.com

 


< Click here to view recent and past volunteer BBQ Military Cooking activities >
     
     


     

Tony McDowell, who so excellently coordinated both events, provides a write-up below...
   
To All,
   
In April as the local representative of the California BBQ association Tony McDowell was asked to get help to support two up coming events for our Marines at 29 Palms Ca. The events were the Combat Challenge (Olympic type games between units of the base) and the Winterfest (Christmas party for the spouses and children of deployed troops). This sounded like an easy request. The Challenge was going to be held in September and the Winterfest the first week in December. The base wanted just to serve hamburgers and hotdogs. Tony went to work trying to obtain help putting these events together.

He contacted Del King who has helped with these events in the past. He told Del that the base only wanted to serve hamburgers and hotdogs. Del asked if he could get some brisket donated would the base be willing to change the menu for the Winterfest. I told him I would check. I contacted Kelly Coe my POC for the base for these types of functions. She said that if the meat was donated she could change the menu. Del asked how many people we were going to serve. I told him based on history in 2004 we served 200 people, 2005 we served 250 people with these numbers as a guide we should plan on 300 people.

Del obtained enough brisket to feed more than that, the plan was to feed the families and to donate the left over to local charities. The call went out to CBBQA members and all that wanted to help. Tony was also notified that the Challenge was going to be moved to the same weekend as the Winterfest.

The response from the CBBQA members was exceptional, Del who donated the meat said he would be there and made arrangements for 7 NJROTC cadets to be there to help. Dan Cannon (BBQbyDan) contacted me and told me that he and Bill Wight would be there and asked if he could donate a Dirty Rice side dish for 300 people. Brent and Kim Walton (QN4UBBQ) responded and were willing to drive from Fresno to help support this event. John & Sharen Scott (Papa's smokehouse BBQ) from Morongo emailed and wanted to come and help. Joseph Miles and Linda Burke responded and volunteered for both events. Glen Stanley contacted me and said he and his son Kyle would be there to lend a hand. Steve MacMillan from the local Eagles organization also volunteered for both events. Thom Emery called to say he would be there.

Friday morning at 9:00am, Tony McDowell (TNTBBQ4U), Joseph Miles Linda Burke and Steve MacMillan arrived at Victory Field aboard the base to get ready to serve over 1000 of our Marines for the Combat Challenge. After the set up of the cooking area and grills they got right into cooking and went non-stop for the next 4 hours. During the BBQ Gen Paxton (1st Marine Division CG) approached Tony and had a short discussion on the support that the CBBQA does for the base. Tony explained that we normally do these two events along with support for toys-for-tots and the big salute in May. He thanked Tony and the CBBQA for all that we do and that he would pass on to Gen Stone, CG 29 Palms that he is in good hands with an organization like ours.

After this event Tony McDowell went to the community center to get things ready to support the Winterfest the next day. After most of our volunteers arrived Friday evening Tony went to get pizza for everybody to enjoy. After returning there were even more friends and helpers waiting to help. Todd Evans (Out of this World BBQ) came to lend a hand and help where he could. We all gathered and had a nice relaxing dinner while catching up with new and old friendships. Most of our volunteers were staying in the base hotel. John and Sharon were staying in their motor home at the center. Del and Dan slept in their vehicles while our NJROTC members slept in tents. As I requested the community center remained open all evening for everybody's convenience.

About 8 pm everybody started to prep the 19 Briskets that Del had brought. They were then popped them into Dan's, Ole Hickory Pit. With that all tasks for the evening were done for the evening. After that it was just a matter of wrapping up loose ends, settling in for the evening, and enjoying the social environment.

Dan got all 19 briskets into the coolers around 8:00am Saturday morning. Bill Wight arrived and made breakfast for everybody. Tony arrived with eggs, bacon and rolls for all. After breakfast Bill and Dan started two 24 quart braziers of Dirty Rice that would feed roughly 300+ folks. After preparation they were dropped into the warmers. John, Sharon, Brent, and Glen, then started slicing the brisket which took about 60-90 minutes. Thom Emery asked if he could put a turkey into Dan's pit. All hurried up and got everything ready for our 11:00 serving time.

At 11:00 everything was ready to go and the serving line was open. The serving line was setup, volunteers in place, and folks started arriving. Joe Miles and Linda Burke helped setting up serving line and also served. The JROTC volunteers did the bulk of the serving and hung in there for close to 4 hours. We were originally told to be prepared to serve 300 people between 11:00 and 1:00pm. There was a slight problem the people never quit coming the line kept getting longer and longer. The original thought was that this event was for the spouses and children of those troops deployed however the word got out the CBBQA was cooking and Padre Junipero Serra High School in San Juan Capistrano had donated gifts for all the children. People from the base started showing up along with families from Camp Pendleton.

We were told they opened up this event to the base. So, we had a lot of attendees. A Christmas tree vendor had also contributed 300 trees to the families. So, not only could the attendees come over and have a nice meal they also got a nice Christmas tree.

So, after a few hours most all the planned and prepared food was used up. Tony and the base folks quickly had to acquire more food from the base facilities. Tom Emery donated his turkey and that went on the serving line. The base provided more hot dogs however no hot dog buns John & Sharon Scott (Papa's Smokehouse BBQ) went to their trailer and didn't hesitate to donate buns they had in stock along with additional BBQ sauce. It should be noted this was John & Sharon first event at the base and like all CBBQA members they didn't hesitate to support and as the rest of our members they jumped in and helped where needed.

The lines were out the front door and into the parking lot with families waiting for a meal! Magically from somewhere more potato salad, hamburgers, hot dogs, buns, and whatever, appeared. Then the volunteers built a quick BBQ fire and toasted the buns, and grilled the burgers and dogs. At the end of the day nobody (that I am aware of) went away without a meal, most all got a tree, and everybody in attendance making this event happen had done a great job. After a final tally it was noted that the CBBQA served over 1200 meals. Talk about being able to adapt and over come. The CBBQA did it again.
 
Tony McDowell


 


 

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