Davenport Merchants Thanks Helpers with Big Belly BBQ Battle Appreciation Dinner
by James Coulter
The organizers of the Big Belly BBQ Battle in Davenport showed their appreciation for everyone who helped with this year’s event with a dinner on Saturday afternoon.
Several dozen people who helped organize and support this year’s Big Belly BBQ Battle, from the sponsors to the organizers and even the media, were treated to a complimentary barbecue dinner hosted at Nature’s Place, an outpatient rehab clinic that provides outdoor therapy.
Everyone who attended the dinner received a meal including barbecue pork, chicken wings, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, and a fruit and cheese platter. They also received certificates of appreciation and a word from the people at Nature’s Place.
Bonnie Jo, President of the Davenport Merchants, loved being able to see so many people attend their dinner. It was because of their hard work and effort that this year’s event, hosted last month, drew in as many attendees and funds as it did. Together, they raised $2,200 for Nature’s Place, she said.
“It is just a wonderful event, everybody gets out, everybody has fun,” Jo said. “We owe our success to all of the volunteers and everyone who sponsored us. We hoped to be bigger and better next year.”
Deborah Adams, Director of Nature’s Place, has been a speech language pathologist since 1997. She works at Nature’s Place, which is an outpatient rehab clinic set on a five-acre farm complex. She assists with outdoor therapy with patients of all ages.
Nature’s Place includes many other amenities, including Connections Park, a public dog park area for leashed dogs, Cold Nose Cafe, which serves canine food, and the Acorn Shop, which sells handmade items prepared by clients.
Adams appreciates her organization being the recipient of this year’s proceeds from the Big Belly BBQ Battle. This year’s event more than exceeded expectations, and she expects to do great things with their donation, she said.
“I am so blessed and grateful for that,” she said. “We really,really work hard. All the people you see here have helped out in some capacity to bring it all together, and it has been a really wonderful experience, and I am very grateful.”