Honoring family leads to annual philanthropy

Backyard BBQ Championships in 5th year

By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News

Humble beginnings and a lot of hard work describes both the Daniel Foundation and Cole Pepper’s Blackjack’s BBQ Sauce. Although those beginnings are separated by 120 years, the two organizations have now been intertwined for the past five years.

Jacksonville residents know of Cole Pepper as the voice of the Jaguars. As Sports Director of the Jaguars’ flagship station WOKV, Pepper was awarded Florida Associated Press Radio honors 13 times, including five times winning “Best Sportscast of the Year,” the most prestigious award given by the Association to radio broadcasters annually. Pepper was also chosen “Best Sportscaster in Jacksonville” by both Jacksonville Magazine and Folio Weekly.

All that came to an end in May 2009 when Pepper’s position at WOKV was abruptly eliminated.
Back up, first, to 2003 when Pepper teamed up with Rich Goldfarb, founder of Blackjack’s Best BBQ, to create Cole Pepper’s Blackjack’s BBQ Sauce. Pepper’s sauce went from being a novelty item giveaway to a staple at restaurants and finer meat markets around Jacksonville and in Florida.

Forward, now, to 2008, when the Glyn Cook Memorial Scholarship, named for Pepper’s late father-in-law (a longtime and influential member of Daniel’s Board of Directors), was launched by Pepper and his in-laws. The next year, after the former sportscaster’s unceremonious release by WOKV, Pepper created the Jacksonville Backyard BBQ Championships as an annual fundraiser for the scholarship designed to help Daniel kids fund college education.

Celebrating its 5th year as a major contributor to the Glyn Cook Memorial Scholarship, the Avondale resident said this about what the annual event might have meant to his father-in-law: “Glyn was so dedicated to Daniel. He served on the board for years and served as Chairman of the Board. He truly believed in the great work that Daniel did for kids, and the benefit that Daniel provides to the community at-large.

“He had a profound impact on me and my wife’s family and seeing the success stories from the scholarship winners is really a great way for us to remember him. When Glyn died, it left a hole in the family and I think if you asked everyone in the family, they would tell you that his influence is still being felt, in part, through the scholarship,” Pepper concluded.
Founded in 1884 as the Orphanage and Home for the Friendless and now the oldest child-serving agency in Florida, Daniel helps more than 1,000 children, adolescents and families each day with a wide variety of innovative and nationally-recognized programs.

Since the formation of the scholarship, Daniel has awarded over $33,000 in scholarships, awarded in August each year.
Pepper, now Chief Communications Officer for Four Elements Media, serves on the Board of Trustees of Daniel Foundation, hosts or emcees up to 50 charity events each year and has served on committees for Meals on Wheels and the Humane Society, and is a member of the Professional and Businessmen’s Association of Jacksonville.
Kellie Ann Kelleher, Executive Director, Daniel Foundation said, “Cole is an active board member, but he is also active advocate for Daniel’s cause. He truly works to improve the odds for kids in the community. Cole is dedicated to giving these children the opportunity to pursue their education. Our gratitude and appreciation for the work that he does is endless.”

Jacksonville Backyard BBQ Championships

Saturday, April 27, noon to 5 p.m.
Located at EverBank Field
Tickets: $16.50 – online at danielkids.org
$20 at the door; parking $10
(free for online and group tickets; for more information email
[email protected])

Sample BBQ from up to 60 teams and cast your vote for the best BBQ in Jacksonville at the 5th annual Jacksonville Backyard BBQ Championships.  Enjoy live music, games for the kids and great BBQ for a great cause.

The event is a fundraiser for the Daniel Foundation’s Glyn Cook Memorial Scholarship, awarded to formerly homeless Daniel kids who are in college. Celebrity judges and certified BBQ judges will rate the entries and crown the Amateur BBQ King of Jacksonville. Professional teams compete for a share of a $5,000 prize pool.

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