This weekend at Turnn Burn, there is a very special fundraising event being held. In a field of over 130 of the best competition BBQ teams in the state of Texas and beyond, there is a team called COOKING 4 KEITH.
The team is comprised of Ryan Lawson and his father Jerry Lawson, owners ofWWWood,Inc./ WESTERN Premium BBQ Products. If by some chance they place in one of the 45 very large payout positions, they will donate the winnings to Keith Cantu to help in his fight against leukemia. The money will go towards Keith’s mounting medical bills and daily expenses.
Said Ryan Lawson, “The competition cooking community is so amazing, and I have already had several other teams also contributing either all or a percentage of their potential winnings towards the COOKING 4 KEITH project.” Ryan is amazed that something that he wanted to do personally to help this young man has now developed into a much larger opportunity to make a significant impact in Keith’s life and to let Keith know that people are supporting him to fight his battle and win it.
As another opportunity to help Keith, Western Premium BBQ products will also be sponsoring Kurt Oefinger and the Dirt Road Cookers, who cook world famous, record setting 8-foot diameter BBQ pizza. The first pizza will be cooked and available Friday evening at 7 pm during the Chief Cooks meeting at the River Park. The second pizza will be cooked and served at 5 pm Saturday by the main stage. WESTERN will be accepting donations from the public for the COOKING FOR KEITH fundraising project.
Please take a few minutes to read the story describing some of the enormous challenges Keith has already tackled in his life and the challenge he currently has ahead of him. His story is evidence of the will to fight this young man has. Thank you in advance for all your support with this project.
My name is Keith Cantu. I’m 28 years old and I have been challenged by several obstacles in my life, but this current obstacle has by far been the hardest one of all.
Hearing the word CANCER has taken my other illnesses to a whole new level. At the age of 14, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. The doctors worked with me for years to control my illness. Their work was successful for several years, but as I grew older, the medicines began to fail and my doctors believed that the only alternative was surgery. As a result, they removed all of my large intestine and completely rebuilt my colon. It was a long six months and four surgeries to successfully complete this process.
I survived and finally had the chance to begin to live my life. I found my way to a great job that I enjoy and I am blessed with a family that I could never replace. In my heart, I believed that everything was finally going in the right direction for me.
Unfortunately, after several years now, things have taken a turn for the worse yet again. After suffering from an unknown pain since January 2015 and undergoing numerous medical tests, I have now come to face my most difficult obstacle. Within three weeks, my body crashed while a team of doctors struggled to try to figure out what was going on with me. The pain was so severe that I thought my bones were breaking. Finally, after several prognoses and bone biopsies, the doctors were able to identify this “monster” in my body as “Acute Monocytic Leukemia”.
I have now been out of work since January 19, 2015 and in the hospital now for four weeks. It is expected I will remain in the hospital for a possible time frame of 1 to 6 months.
With everything I’ve told you, you need to know that I’m a fighter….. always have been, always will be. I WILL NOT bow down to Leukemia. It will NOT beat me. I believe in God and know that my faith, family and friends will see me through this. I’d like to thank everyone for their amazing support and prayers.
Cantu has a Go Fund Me account. You can visit and donate at: http:// de.gofund.me/Support- KeithCantu.
Please sign up to help judge at the Turn-n-Burn. Register at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 14 to judge chicken, ribs and brisket.
Also new this year is a Margarita contest. It is open to anyone who wishes to enter. These must be pre-made, not frozen and able to turn in at 4 p.m. There is a $20 entry fee.
It wouldn’t be any fun without some great entertainment so be sure to come out of Friday and hear the Pear Ratz at 6:30 p.m. followed by Pleasanton’s own Rodney Hayden. He will be opening for The Bellamy Brothers. Tickets are $15. Cook’s Choice competition will also be held Friday evening.On Saturday, another local entertainer, Gabe Garcia will open for Aaron Watson.
Tickets are $20 at the door and the entertainment will begin after the awards.
This all will take place at the Pleasanton River Park near downtown Pleasanton just off of Adams Street.
A washer tourney will also be held on Saturday. Registration begins at 11 a.m. with the start time at noon. $20 per team.
For more information, contact the chamber office at 830-569-2163.