We had a great time at the Tunnels to Towers / US Vets Veterans Village on Super Bowl Sunday.  If anything (and I really hate to say this) we may have had too many volunteers trying to work in a smaller space than we are used to since we were almost all indoors.  But it all worked out, except for the brief deluge just after we got the popup over Mr. Hundl and his grill with the jalapeno poppers.  I'm told that we had over 40 volunteers in total.  Special thanks to: 

- Mr. Devin Bily and The Backyard Grill for donating and serving up those 400 wings.  I especially liked the lemon pepper ones.  Did you know a lot of people prefer the wing flats over the drums?  I didn't and I am definitely on the drum side of that conversation. 

- Mr. Mike Hundl for bringing his grill and grilling up at least 175 jalapeno poppers 

- Mr. Bill Schwartz and Mr. Chris Shannon for donating and bringing all those celery and carrot sticks and Ranch dressing.  I don't know the exact count on those but it was a LOT. 

- Ms. Toni Barrera for making, donating and serving potato salad and also spending a couple of hours with her friend putting together the jalapeno poppers for the grill 

- Mr. Greg Olinger, Ms. Jennifer Peck and other members of the Houston/Galveston Chapter of the Society of Military Engineers (SAME) for donating, making and serving the ham and cheese sliders.  They had a strong volunteer turn out from their members. 

- Mr. Ben Weibel and his co-workers from Brookstone Construction who made and served the Buffalo chicken sliders.  Brookstone also had a big turn out of volunteers. 

- My wife for helping to make and serve all the pulled pork sliders and smelling them slow cooking in the crock pots overnight the night before.  And then cleaning all of that up. 

- Mr. Rene Esparza, Ms. Mayte Weitzman and Goya Foods for once again donating the beans and bringing goody bags for the vets! 

- Mr. Roger Kohler, Mr. Martin Bayang and their RAF crew for whipping up the cobbler and ice cream, as well as handling the water bottle service. 

- Ms. Stephanie Brooks and all of the staff at US Vets who let us bring the party out to them and organized it.  I'm assuming that Stephanie arranged for the DJ (I'm glad to see that Y-M-C-A is still on the playlist!) 

- Ms. Kim De Lorenzo with Tunnels to Towers for making this amazing facility available to US Vets and their honored residents, and for also allowing us to come out there for this Super Bowl party. 

I don't know if we will do a meal with so many different food items in the future.  There were a lot of moving parts and it was a bit complicated putting it all together.  But I thought it was a pretty impressive plate.  I am not sure if we have all of the receipts in for reimbursement, but our expenses to date for the Super Bowl party are $687.04.  That works out to $3.93 for the planned 175 meals.  I know we did not serve 175 meals at lunch - apparently Mattress Mack had something going on at Camp Hope at the same time so I don't think that any of the Camp Hope vets came to Veterans Village.  So we left a lot of food in the Veterans Village kitchen and I understand that the vets grazed on it throughout the afternoon and through the game (what a game once it got going!).  This leaves us with $838.17 in the bank (thank you Mr. Wingerson for doing the tailgate books and filings!). 

At present we do not have any other events scheduled other than a tentative date of Saturday October 12th for a return trip to the Temple, Texas VA campus this fall.  I'm calling that tentative because we would need more than $800 to serve the 500-600 meals we have done up there on previous trips and I haven't asked any of our cookers about that date yet.  Plus we will probably have another event before then that will deplete at least some of our funds.  So we will see how it goes.  But if you haven't made the trip to Temple you have missed a good time. 

We will probably have another event before we think about the road trip to Temple.  If so, I will get that word out to you.  Thank you for everything you do for TGWAH, and more importantly, for our veterans. 

Ralph Wissel