Saturday marked the final day of the sixth annual Que 4 Kids barbecue and auction, and the goal is still the same as when it first started — to raise awareness and funds for Aware Central Texas.
The event, which is in collaboration with Bring Everyone In the Zone and the Killeen Exchange Club, drew packed house of approximately 1,000 people and an even more packed parking lot at Sandy’s Lone Star Events in Nolanville over the course of the three-day fundraiser.
The event kicked off Thursday with ’80s rock and big hair-inspired bands Scratch 3 and LC Rocks.
“Amazing. Great people, good company, awesome vibes and lots of big hearts,” said Jason James, president of the 254 Whisker Men. “LC rocks was very electrifying and so was Scratch 3.”
Friday showcased a variety of auctioned items ranging from guns to sports memorabilia, signed guitars from famous artists, utility vehicles, and even a car.
The evening featured a farewell performance of Texas Twister Band featuring Killeen’s own Mitch Connell. Known as the “original party band of Aggieland,” the group swept up the crowd with famous county songs.
“This is a pretty sad thing; we have been together for so long and it’s been a very good band. But there is nothing better than to play for a good cause to raise money for,” said Mitch Connell. “This band did a lot of things for fundraising andplaying here is just a good thing to do.”
Misty Biddick, executive director for Aware Central Texas, thanked attendees. Biddick talked about how Aware has helped more than 5,000 victims of child abuse and human trafficking in Bell County since its inception 31 years ago.
“The people here tonight help make it possible for us to create hope for individuals that are sometimes in really desperate situations,” Biddick said.
Despite the cold and the rain, people still came out in droves on Saturday. The star of the show was the kids and adults barbecue cook-off.
Amateur and professional grillers from all over Texas and Mississippi were out to compete in the CTBA sanctioned cook-off. Many having worked well into the night prior preparing.
“The weather sucks, but this is where you separate the men from the boys,” said James Crawford, owner of Band of Brothers BBQ. “But this event is awesome. I think my friend Mike here has some kiddos and I have kiddos, and unfortunately, there are people that get put in situations that things like this will help them out.”
Grand Champion was Rick Heranandez with Break Time BBQ and Reserve Grand Champion was Ricky and Holley Hatter with MadHatters BBQ.
Kaidin Fischer, 5, found the chance to grill exciting. As his mother adjusted his apron, he shouted, “I want to cook everyone a pork chop.”
Kash Stephens won first place for Junior Kids Pork Chop and Jacob Bynum won first place Senior Kids Pork Chop.
Que 4 Kids is a program was first started by Teresa Young. Young was a member of the Killeen Exchange Club and was instrumental in helping Aware Central Texas become one of three child abuse prevention centers in the state recognized by the National Exchange Club in 2001.
“Teresa Young was a driving force starting Que 4 Kids at our Exchange Club meeting. Because Exchange Club is an organization that is focused on child abuse, Que 4 Kids became a prime vehicle to do that,” said Larry Holly, Texas district representative for the Exchange Club.
“To see a dream of Teresa morphed into this type of event, it shows how the community rallied around her and supported her and the mission with the Killeen Exchange Club.
“It’s a great feeling to see so much support for something that she was so passionate in her life about.” Holly said.