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Saturday 15 December 2018
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Bands, Brews and BBQ

story by Emily Burgess     photos provided by Eat Sleep Play Beaufort

The season for great food and time spent outside is on its way and the lowcountry is kicking it off with the ninth annual Bands, Brews and BBQ event on Paris Avenue in Port Royal benefitting Friends of Caroline Hospice.

     The two-day event sponsored by Beaufort Memorial hospital and hosted by the Town of Port Royal will be held February 23-24 and kicks off the barbeque event trail in South Carolina through the South Carolina BBQ Association. Admission costs $10 per day with children under 12 attending for free. There will be tickets available for purchasing food, drinks and kid zone activities once inside the event.

     The fun begins Friday night from 6 to 9 p.m. with the wing throw down where samples of wings from over 30 cook teams will be offered along with live entertainment from the Walker Harris Band. The wings are judged at The Shed by a group of VIPs that includes the mayor of Port Royal, and awards for first, second and third place are given.

     The event continues on Saturday starting at noon until 4 p.m. with the barbeque cook-off. Approximately 32 teams will enter barbeque that will be judged by certified judges from the South Carolina BBQ Association. Participants come from all over the Southeast each year to try their hand at taking first, second or third place.

     “It’s Brews, Bands and BBQ a qualifying event for The World Food competition. The overall winner gets invited to Orange Beach, Alabama to compete. It is very cool,” said Lindsay Roberg, Executive Director of Friends of Caroline Hospice, the organization behind the event each year.

     The entertainment line-up for Saturday includes Broke Locals, The Brewer Band, Frogmore Stu and Chris Jones. Beer, wine, other drinks and hot dogs will also be available for purchase.

     The kid zone is $5 per child with bounce houses and face painting available. The kid’s area is contained with volunteers stationed to control any chaos, allowing parents the opportunity to drop their older children off while they enjoy the event by sampling barbeque and listening to music.

     Bands, Brews and BBQ started off small nine years ago, but has shown steady growth each year. Last year, more than 1,500 people attended the event and it is expected that even more will take part this year.

     All proceeds from the event benefit Friends of Caroline Hospice (FOCH) in Port Royal. The non-profit organization has been serving Beaufort county for 37 years, providing quality-of-life care that offers hope and encouragement to those nearing the end of life’s journey while also providing support for their family, friends and the community.

     Friends of Caroline Hospice provides hospice care for patients of any age, religion, race or illness. FOCH works with a patient’s primary caregiver (typically a family member) by making regular visits to assess the patient and provide any additional care or services that are needed.

     The funds from the event help cover palliative care and bereavement services and cover services for under-insured or un-insured patients.

     “It’s important for us to raise funds so everyone has the same supreme level of care at the end of their life,” said Roberg.

     FOCH offers bereavement and coping support groups that meet monthly to allow those who have lost loved ones to share thoughts and feelings with others who have experienced the same. They also host Camp Caroline each year, partnering with the school system for students in first through twelfth grades. It provides a safe environment for students who have lost a loved one and allows them the opportunity to learn to acknowledge and express their grief.  Camp Caroline will be held June 25th this year from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the maritime center in partnership with the Port Royal Sound Foundation. This is exciting, as it will allow for more water activities for the kids.

     FOCH has an extensive list of complementary services or therapies that work together with conventional medicine. They partner with ‘We Honor Veterans’ to help provide services to veterans who are in need of hospice care. FOCH offers massage therapy, pet therapy and has a team of “maintenance” volunteers that perform simple maintenance tasks to the interior or exterior of FOCH patient homes and property.

     The Bands, Brews and BBQ event has brought a greater awareness to hospice care and needs in the Beaufort community.

     “We like to call our events ‘friend-raisers,’ as they have been a huge part of building our volunteer base,” Roberg said. “This event is a great way to have a good time, but also to make people aware of the great cause that their money is supporting.”

     FOCH has seen a large increase in donations and volunteers stepping forward since the start of Brews, Bands and BBQ. The awareness brought forth by the event has led people to volunteer in the FOCH thrift store, volunteer in patient care and serve in various capacities in our community for hospice care.

     Volunteers are vital to the functionality of the organization. They make it possible to provide all of the services that are needed to enhance the quality of life for patients. A volunteer role can be as little as four hours a month as a student bereavement volunteer or patient and family support volunteer, or as involved as spending at least three hours a week at the FOCH thrift store sorting merchandise and running the cash register.

     Friends of Caroline Hospice will have information available at the event for how to get involved with the organization through volunteering and will be accepting donations.

     Tickets for admission to Bands, Brews and BBQ are available for purchase at www.friendsofcarolinehospice.org.  Additionally, anyone interested in entering barbeque or wings into the competition can contact FOCH through their website or by calling their office at 843-525-6257. All forms for entry into the competition are due by February 16th.

     Come out and enjoy some of the best wings and barbeque you can find while supporting an organization and cause that are vital to the Beaufort community.