In 2017, the first Raymond Dietrich Memorial BBQ was held in a backyard in St. Jacobs. With the support of the Dietrich family, countless volunteers, generous sponsors, and members of the community this event found its niche and has flourished!
In the years since that inaugural event the format has evolved throughout the years. Due to overwhelming community support and attendance a larger venue was required seeing the event move to the Waterloo Rod and Gun Club’s outdoor space to accommodate the attendance needs. Enter 2020 and the COVID 19 pandemic. This did not slow the progress, or the passion employed by the Team as the event transformed into a ‘drive-thru’ pick-up style event with overwhelming success!
In 4 short years, the Raymond Dietrich Memorial BBQ has generated over $50,000 dollars which has been distributed directly to organizations and charities alike within the community supporting those with special needs. We couldn’t do this without each and everyone of you and are constantly blown away by your support and generosity! Know that you are TRULY MAKING AN IMPACT on the lives of those in YOUR community!
On behalf of the Raymond Dietrich Memorial Committee and those we support THANK YOU!!!
The mantra for the 2020 Raymond Dietrich Memorial BBQ was ‘The Show MUST GO ON!’ as the COVID 19 pandemic loomed and the guidelines for outdoor events were restrictive. The team was innovative and successfully pivoted to a ‘Curbside Pick-up’ version of the event. It really does take a village and the ‘village’ came through with flying colours!
The meals served totaled 386 individual meals prepared in packs of 2 or 4; a 200% increase from the 184 sit-down meals served in 2019. The grand prize and raffle prize draws were moved online and proved to be as much fun and successful as ever.
The proceeds once the dust settled came out at an astounding $16 000 that was donated fully to Elmira District Community Living in respect of the difficult year they experienced facing COVID, house fire and flooding. Your support was beyond timely and more impactful than ever!
The 2019 Raymond Dietrich Memorial BBQ was once again held at the Waterloo Rod and Gun Club. This year we were again hoping to sit 160. That number was blown away as we set our highest attendance to date at 186!! Our benefactors included the Woolwich Sun Ray Special Hockey team, and Kate's Kause - Gibson Park Accessible Washroom Campaign. $16,500 was generated and distributed to these two wonderful organizations who do so much in the Community. $5,000 and $11,500 was split respectively.
Due to the overwhelming success of our inaugural event, one thing was clear, WE NEEDED MORE SPACE!! Enter the Waterloo Rod and Gun Club! With the generosity of our community and members, we were able to gain a new venue that has everything we could ever want and more. The new space allowed us to expand and grow the impact and reach of this event. After serving 96 people at the backyard event, we felt 160 was a good number to shoot for, we fell just short, seating 146, but that didn't slow the energy and excitement of all those in attendance. Our primary benefactor, the Woolwich Sun Rays Special Hockey Team, along with a second beneficiary, Elmira District Community Living, split the contributions of $12,000 evenly.
A simple thought, turned to conversation, turned to action led the charge to start something that has grown to more than ever imagined. It started with a love of smoking meat, gathering with those we love and the desire to make a positive impact within the Community we call HOME. The inaugural event was hosted in a St Jacobs backyard with, what seemed lofty at the time, the goal of seating 60 friends and family for a ticketed smoked BBQ dinner. To our surprise, we managed to fit 96 people in that backyard and the rest is history!! In that first year, the Woolwich Sun Rays Special Hockey Team were our sole benefactor, receiving $7,500 from our community and those within it.