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First, wanted to thank everyone on this forum for deciding NOT
to just out and out attack the organizer of the St. Louis
contest from last week in this forum, given all the turmoil around the event.
Not a single post can be found on this forum regarding the contest until this one.
The reason for this post is to give a little insight into the
organization, the individual and his motivations regarding the St. Louis River Rub contest.
The individual who organized the event is a military veteran, having been on active duty from 1986 to 1990. In 1990, he joined the reserves, and was called to active duty numerous times, serving in both Desert Shield and Desert Storm as a combat pilot. In 2004, he was captured and held captive for a time.
After he was released, he flew combat missions the following year in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
The charitable organization he founded, which was behind the BBQ contest, was established to assist vets returning from service in Iraq and Afghanistan adjust back to civilian life. Something that has been difficult for many, especially as it related to the VA, which is an area that VOIEF is specializing in.
The bbq contest and associated vending and festival were intended to be a fundraiser to provide funding for that mission.
While mistakes may have been made in setting the financial goals too high for the event, and commitments were made for a prize pool that depended upon everything going exactly right in terms of sponsor commitments, vendor sales projections, etc, there was no
malice or intentional mis-representation involved from the organizer. Vending sales fell well short of plan and sponsors backed out on commitments.
We all empathize with the cooking teams who felt they were sold a bill of goods when they signed up for the event, and then weren't communicated to in a timely manner regarding the funds shortfall. Nothing will change what has already occurred. We are
all hoping that everyone is made whole, as has been promised.
This post is not intended to change anybody's mind about their experience with the event or whether it has a future or not. It is merely intended to help provide some facts regarding the individual, the organization (VOIEF), and the original objectives of the event.
No, I am not Kurt. I barely know the man. This post is intended to simply share some facts, not to express my opinion or pass judgement on others' opinion of what occurred.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, and thanks to Ray for allowing this on his forum.
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