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Cresskill Competitors Will Grill Off At Veterans Benefit BBQ

Jerry Squillante will perform at Red, White and Que.
Jerry Squillante will perform at Red, White and Que. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule

CRESSKILL, NJ -- Dozens of teams will compete in the 4th annual Red, White and Que Barbecue competition at Cresskill Recreation Area this weekend to support veterans and victims of natural disasters.

"I appreciate what my family did and what others have done," said Dana Reed, co-owner of Three Men & a Baby Back barbecue crew. "If we can help a little bit by giving back, them I'm all for it,"

The event, which runs Sept. 25-27, went from a local parking lot to a larger set-up outside Cresskill's sports complex.

It has raised more than $10,000 over the past three years for organzations such as the Wounded Worrior Project, the Gary Sinese Foundation, American Legion Post 21 and Operation BBQ Relief for those affected by natural disasters.

Operation BBQ Relief has more than 3,000 volunteers who not only serve half a million meals to those in need but compete on barbecue teams across the country.

Reed, of Chester, NY, signed up after Hurricane Sandy and is now a board member and the organization's chief director of volunteers.

He also his brothers-in-law compete against 40 other teams from Boston, Delaware, New Jersey, and elsewhere.

Teams will share their pit secrets for juicy chicken and tender brisket, while attendees can buy $2 or $3 tastes of the masters' meats -- a first this year.

There will also be new micro-brewed beer.

Challengers will work through the night competing for prizes distributed on Sunday, hoping to advance to national invitational competitions.

"The American Legion and everyone is great," said Jerry Squillante, an event organizer and drummer whose band will perform on Sunday. "I get very emotional thinking about what they do for veterans."

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