The May 6th Roadtrip to the VA facility in Temple, TX was a Success!

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May 6th, 2017

Olin E. Teague Veterans' Medical Center
1901 Veterans Memorial Drive
Temple, TX 76504


We are on for the road trip to the Temple VA Hospital on Saturday May 6th. The plan is to serve a total of 600 lunch meals to the patients, residents, and other veterans that the VA will be bringing to the Temple VA campus that day. This will be a late lunch with food service starting at 1:30 pm one week from this coming Saturday. We will be set up next to a 10 acre pond on the VA property there in Temple. A lot of details are yet to be worked out but here is what we have so far:

1. Please let me know as soon as possible if you are able to make the trip and help on this one. I realize the number of volunteers is likely to be small with the distance involved. My phone says it is 167 miles and a 2 hour and 45 minute drive to Temple from Houston. If you can join us it would surely be appreciated. If you cannot make it no problem and if you let me know I will drop you from future emails on this one.

2. The Band of Brothers from St. Timothy’s Anglican in Spring will be making the trip and providing 300 of the meals – probably ribs and sausage.

3. St. Timothy’s sister church in Lago Vista (near Austin), Trinity Anglican, will be baking 300 baked potatoes big enough to cut in half to make 2 servings each – so that is 600 baked potato sides.

4. I think I will be hauling the MBUMC cooking trailer and Mr. Jonathan Neubauer will be heading up the MBUMC team in Ray’s absence. We are going to miss Mr. Tailgate on this one so the rest of us need to step up our game. We will be making 300 meals – menu not yet determined. Any chance we can cook brisket in advance and serve brisket and sausage, baked potato (by the Lago Vista Trinity group) and beans? MBUMC guys and gals, let me know asap if you are in for this trip so we can figure this out.

5. The Temple VA will be providing the beverages – we do not need to bring water bottles or drinks except for ourselves.

6. A local group will be providing dessert so we do not need to worry about that either. I seem to have lost track of the name of the group but I think they have a motorcycle connection – Reggie or Latoya, do I have that right?

7. Here is the most exciting part (to me anyway as an avid, rabid fisherman): the VA is stocking the pond on their property and organizing a fishing tournament that day for the veterans. I understand that Texas Parks and Wildlife, Texas Game Wardens, and a local Knights of Columbus are all involved with loaning fishing equipment and providing volunteers to assist the vet’s with the fishing out at the pond. That is awesome!

Here is where help is needed:

8. Need someone to calculate food quantities and organize the food and related supply acquisition. This will primarily be the meats, beans and supplies. We may need to get the meats this week so we can have brisket and ribs pre-cooked so all we have to do is heat those up when we get there.

9. Need someone to organize heating and serving the beans. Let’s buy Goya products please as they have been a strong supporter of TGWAH.

10. Need volunteers to work the MBUMC cooking team and to organize plating and serving the food.

11. Need help hauling stuff up to Temple.

12. Need a couple of people to be gophers in Temple on game day. This is our first road trip ever and our first trip to the Temple VA Hospital so we will almost certainly forget something or run into something unexpected. Need someone to scout out nearby grocery stores and/or a Walmart and be prepared to make a dash for whatever we might need.

13. Need the usual stuff: pop-up shade covers, camp chairs, folding tables, propane burners and tanks, etc. I recommend we all pack our patience and a good attitude as we will be figuring it out as we go, and those of us driving from Houston will have a long day.

We only have a couple of weeks to get set so please let me know asap if you are in for the road trip. Could really use some help on this one. If you leave by 9:00 am from Houston you should be there around noon which would work well. Let me hear from you!

Ralph Wissel