Blues, Brews and BBQ Benefits Local School for Special Needs Children

A fundraising event to benefit a school for children with special needs was held Saturday in the parking lot of Club Rodeo in Springfield.

Blues, Brews and BBQ featured a competition for members of the National BBQ League from the Kansas City Barbeque Society. The teams competed in categories for chicken, ribs, brisket and pork. In addition to cooking demonstrations, they also provided samples to those in attendance.

The event also included an IPA competition for area breweries and live music from multiple artists.

The proceeds from the event benefit Perspectives Preparatory Academy, a local school that helps provide college preparatory programs and other educational opportunities to children with autism and other special needs. The school currently provides their programs and therapy for over 30 children completely tuition-free because of fundraising events like Blues, Brews and BBQ.

In addition to the major scheduled events, the organizers also made sure that special needs families from the Ozarks would have a chance to experience the event. Many special needs children have sensory issues that prohibit them from attending large, crowded events with loud music, so there was no music or loud noises allowed from 10am to noon. The IPA competition did not start until after noon, so there was no alcohol during the family-friendly opening segment.

Below are two photo galleries of the day. The first is by Ozarks Independent staff. The second is a gallery of photos from Anastasia Phelps, a local autistic teen who loves photography and whose sister is part of the PPA program. (One of her photos is the headline photo on this story.)