BBQ cook-off raises funds for volunteer fire department

Fire Chief Alonzo Morales Jr. wears many hats in Goliad as a county commissioner, school bus driver, tow truck business owner – and on Saturday he was one of the main judges for the 2nd Annual BBQ Cookoff at Coleto Creek Park.

“I have been judging the brisket on the final table, it’s good, you get some free brisket and taste different flavors,” Morales said.

According to First Assistant Fire Chief, Kevin Buesing, 70 percent of all firefighters in the nation are volunteers.

“A lot of your smaller communities don’t have the funding to fund a full-time fire department, so they lean on volunteers to help and fill and the gaps,” Buesing said.

The Goliad Volunteer Fire Department responds to an average of 270 incidents or calls a year and covers 861 sq. miles.

“Outside of firefighting, I’m a mechanic, so I work. So sometimes you fire fight all night and then work during the day,” said Matthew Konvicka, Senior Captain for the Goliad Volunteer Fire Department.

The first BBQ cook-off raised $10,000 to $12,000 and Morales says he anticipates that this event will raise the same if not more than last year.

And on the final day of the cook-off competitors gathered at the award ceremony to hear if they placed – while young aspiring firefighters looked on.

“I want to be a firefighter and risk my life, so I can save other people too,” said seven-year-old Kylie Garza.

Matias Serrata with Pit Boss Smokers won Grand Champion, Ryan Deal with Smoking Hooks won Reserve Champion.

To learn more about the Goliad Volunteer Fire Department or about how you can become a volunteer, visit their Facebook page.