Shriners continue mission through BBQ

Members of local chapters of the Omar Shriners cooked signature BBQ recipes to help raise money for their groups, which in turn, raises money for facilities where children can get help who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford medical care. (Taggart Houck/WPDE)

Myrtle Beach Shriner Club members fired up their grills and invited their peers from across the state to compete and raise money for their groups and the Children's Hospitals they support.

The annual Smoke on the Beach was in downtown Myrtle Beach at the old Pavilion Park Saturday.

The money they raised saves lives, but who says you can't have a little fun in the process?

Saturday, Shriner groups from around the state, including Summerville, held a friendly competition. They cooked up their signature pork BBQ recipes, and handed their finest portions to judges from the Southern BBQ Network.

"Different varieties, different taste, you know, everybody's got their own way of thinking it's a little better than the next one," said Jimmy Day from Conway. Day is a member of the Conway chapter of Shriners.

Day didn't come to the BBQ in Myrtle Beach for the food. He and others were there to sell what they've cooked and collect money for the Myrtle Beach Shrine Club, which, in turn, makes its way back to Shriners Hospitals for Children across the country.

In our region, money would likely go to the Greenville location. It's the nonprofit's only operation in South Carolina. It operates 22 nationwide.

The hospitals take children under the age of 18 who are suffering from burns or spinal injuries, among other injuries and treats them for free.

"All of us have one goal: support the Greenville Hospital and the other hospitals around the country and the burn centers," said Don Myers, a member for more than 50 years.

Myers said it's the connection to the kids he and his group help that keeps him passionate.

"You meet those people and they still remember that support, and that makes you very happy. It's kind of very much rewarding and heartwarming."

Myers spent a small portion of his day trying to figure out recipes. At least he knows exactly where his effort is headed, and the potential it has to change lives.

If you'd like to get involved or learn more about local Shriners groups, call the Omar Shriners at 843-971-0131.

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