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Second annual First Responders Cookoff sizzles back into summer

The event will also raise money for the families of two fallen sheriff's deputies.
Credit: Wendy Johnson

Bacon-wrapped, cream cheese-filled jalapeño poppers, smoked brisket and barbequed ribs aren’t usually the first things that come to mind when people think of the term “first responder.”

But the organizers of San Angelo’s annual First Responders Cookoff would like to change that, at least for Saturday.

“First Responders is something that we do that we wanna give back and we wanna thank all of our first responders, whether they’re nurses, doctors, military, police department or fire department,” Wendy Johnson, one of the event’s coordinators said. “But if it hadn’t been for all of our first responders, we wouldn’t be able to do some of the things that we do. Some of the freedoms that we have, the things that we get to give back and say thank you for, so this is a way to thank them.”

This year’s cookout will also have a special meaning for the families of two fallen lawmen.

In May, Concho County Sheriff’s Deputies Samuel Leonard and Sgt. Stephen Jones were killed in the line of duty in Eden during an altercation over a dog complaint they received.

“All of the additional proceeds that we raise are going to help those families,” Johnson said.

The grilling will start at around 11 a.m. Saturday at the end of Spillway Road near Lake Nasworthy and continue throughout the day. Johnson encourages the public to come out and sample the food and donate to a good cause. She expects there will be about 37 teams set up.

For further information, or to show your own “master pitmaster” skills and register in the competition, call Wendy Johnson at 325-234-0583.