Making It Matter During Our 1st Year In Charlottesville, VA: Hearts & Minds Together


You could say it was a smart move to open a MISSION BBQ in Charlottesville. After all, it’s a university town full of brilliant students. Some of the best minds in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines work at a nearby Defense Intelligence Agency. We even have our share of WWII Veterans who regularly bring us their well-earned wisdom (and appetites). That’s a lot brainpower. All we had to do was supply a little heart.

Our Servant’s Heart — and the generosity of this community — helped make a difference right from the start. During three separate pre-opening events, $2309 was raised for the USO of Hampton Roads & Central VA, $2561 was donated to the Ablemarie County Police and Charlottesville Police Foundations, and $1226 went to the Charlottesville and Ablemarie Fire Departments. Through their support of the American Heroes Cup program, our customers also helped us collect $3716 in emergency funds for the VA State Police.

Heart-touching moments: Serving food for 350 police, military and family members at the funeral of Dakota Rigsby, one of seven U.S. Navy Sailors killed when their warship collided with a merchant vessel near Japan. It was an honor to serve 200 soldiers and their loved ones at a nearby National Guard Armory on Family Day. During Armed Forces Week, many local Veterans met here for the first time, singing the Star Spangled Banner and bonding around BamBam (our “Big And Mobile Barbecue Assault Machine). And we were especially proud to host four generations of the Huff family during a special ceremony honoring Everette Marshal Huff. His tribute photos now on our walls show him at age 18 in Navy uniform and at 83 as a long-time leader of the local VFW.

Whether delivering food to First Responders during EMS Week, celebrating the Army’s 242nd birthday with soldiers at Rivanna Station’s intelligence facility, sponsoring a Military Appreciation Night at Charlotteville’s hometown baseball club, or parading our local pride at the Dogwood Festival Parade, it was a great first year. With so many caring customers in such a warmly-welcoming community, the future looks bright indeed.

Submitted by Serrine Sorrel, Community Ambassador, Charlottesville VA MISSION BBQ