World’s Longest BBQ: Cooking Up a Cure

At one of the nation’s largest, most comprehensive universities, it is fitting that students would hold an event for the record books: the World’s Longest BBQ.

A partnership between the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, Buckeye BBQ Club and Buckeyes Give Back, the World’s Longest BBQ promises to “cook up a cure,” raising money for cancer research by supporting Team Buckeye in Pelotonia. From the Spring 2011 event, more than $12,000 was donated to the OSUCCC – James through Team Buckeye.

During the week-long barbeque, Ohio State student volunteers staff the grills on Wexner Plaza at Fifteenth and High, a busy campus thoroughfare, 24 hours a day. In addition to freshly cooked menu offerings—all available for $3 or less— the event provides a fun, welcoming atmosphere with live music, bounce houses and other entertainment. The busiest times for the barbeque include late-nights on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, when students stop by on their way home from evenings out with friends.

Tyler Kreinbrink, a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering and president of the Buckeye BBQ Club, says the event draws many who simply want to support the cause against cancer. “I’ve heard of people coming to the barbeque just because they know the money is going to cancer research. With a disease that’s so universal, people are motivated to raise money. We know The James is working on a cure.”

Jeremy Mormol, a junior majoring in molecular genetics and co-philanthropy chair of Alpha Epsilon Pi, concurs. “Everyone on campus knows about The James. It’s a very noble cause that everyone can support.”

While the event has traditionally taken place in the spring—including a shortened, three-day version of the barbeque that ran this past April—Ohio State’s change from a quarter to semester academic year has prompted organizers to move the event to the fall. A seven-day barbeque will take place from Monday, Sept. 30, through Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013.

The timing aligns with Ohio State’s away football game against Northwestern on Oct. 5, and organizers plan to coordinate programming to complement the game. Organizers are also seeking to heighten awareness for the already successful event, reaching out to new partners and sponsors and working to increase engagement among Ohio State faculty and staff.

Says Alpha Epsilon Pi member and senior biochemistry major Brian Meyerson, “I think people are drawn to the simplicity of it—good, cheap food for a good cause. Everyone is welcome to come by. That’s the best part.”

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