Like many local organizations, JJ's Legacy was going to find a way to stay engaged with the community this year. So although the fifth annual Grillin’ & Brewin' will be a takeout event, it will still be a chance for the public to show support for the nonprofit and its Got the Dot Program.
"For us to make our goals, we need the community to come out and buy their barbecue dinner," said JJ's Legacy founder Lori Malkin.
And its quite the spread. Championship grill masters Ridge Route Boys and Pork Chop and Bubba’s return to prepare the dinner, which consists of brisket, chicken, ribs, beans, coleslaw and Pyrenees rolls.
Each takeout meal comes with two cans of Temblor Brewing Co.'s Kern County Premium lager.
Along with individual dinners, the event offers packages ranging from the $250 family dinner for four (four dinners, eight beers, commemorative pilsner glasses and Therm-O-Tote) to the $10,000 Grill Master, which includes two family-pack dinners for 10, 20 beers, Tlo Wines wine, commemorative pilsner glasses, wine glasses and Therm-O-Tote, and business logo placement on Therm-O-Tote, signs at the event and online for event promotion.
Guests can also purchase raffle tickets for the opportunity drawing.
The grand prize is dinner for 10 at the new Lemcado event venue in northwest Bakersfield. In a "culmination of some of Bakersfield’s best eateries coming together to create a lifetime experience for you and your guests," the meal will include hors d’oeuvres by Bord A Petite Catering, entrées from Sorella and dessert by Sweet Surrender.
Entertainment will be provided by Mauro Vizcarra, and the package includes a host/hostess gift basket at the dinner.
Malkin said of the package, "We want to support the local restaurants and the business in our community who have been so generous to JJ's Legacy. It's locals supporting locals."
JJ's Legacy volunteers will deliver the food, handle preparation, serve the courses and clean up after the meal.
Raffle tickets are $100 and can be purchased along with dinner tickets at jjslegacy.org/events/grillin.
This is the fifth year for the event hosted by JJ’s Legacy, which raises awareness for organ and tissue donation and offers support to donor and recipient families. Malkin started the local nonprofit in 2009 after the death of her son, Jeffrey “JJ” Johns, who was able to save five lives through organ donation and help 50 others through tissue donation.
The direct beneficiary of Grillin' & Brewin' is the Got the Dot High School Leadership Program, which helps educate local teens and young adults about the opportunity to become an organ, eye and tissue donor.
Malkin said she was impressed with a recent blood drive with Houchin that the students organized, with 40 donors contributing.
"The students were phenomenal," Malkin said of their efforts.
Funds raised will allow program participants to create videos about organ donation to show in high schools as well as other initiatives and an upcoming spring project on which the teens will decide.
Malkin said, "What's the best thing to do, how do we continue JJ's Legacy? We're letting the students decide. That's where the leadership comes in. We're sharing our knowledge and hoping they create projects to help them share the learning."