You couldn't help but be drawn to the smell.
The smoke from more than a dozen barbecue grills wafted through the Evans area Saturday, drawing hundreds to the field behind Kroger to eat barbecue, buy crafts and donate thousands of dollars to charity.
Graphics Magic Events and the Southeastern Firefighters Burn Foundation sponsored the first ever Evans Best Barbecue Showdown. All proceeds go to help the foundation.
Despite the food, crafts and live entertainment, event coordinators made sure everyone in attendance knew helping burn victims was what the day was all about.
The event went a long way in helping the foundation help the families of burn victims.
"When people that are burned come in, a lot of them could be here for seven to eight months," said Dick Simpson, director of development for the burn foundation. "We provide housing, utilities and all that. So it's really needed."
Members of the Evans wrestling team were on had to assist in raising money. Coach Randy Hill said his wrestlers were cooking, selling shirts and boiled peanuts. One of them even put on the Sparky Dog mascot suit and posed with kids for pictures.
"It gives them a sense of pride to be able to help," Hill said.
The event wasn't just about raising money though. Vendors selling barbecue were competing for trophies in three different events - back yard novice, restaurant and firehouse.
Stewart Garrett of Augusta was selling as much hog as he could to raise money. With all the help he received from friends and family, he said, he will be able to give all his profits away without spending much of his own money.
"I want to do my part to help this house get to where we can help somebody," Garrett said. "Were trying to help people who lost everything."
Ft. Gordon fire department auctioned off a set of full turn out gear - gear fire fighters use when called to a fire.
Normally, the gear would cost close to $2,500. The first bid of the day came in at $25.
Simpson said the most gratifying thing - other than the money raised - is the number of families that made their way to the event.
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