On Saturday M&M Meats will hold their annual barbecue benefiting the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada, but this year has much more meaning for Castlegar franchise owner Dave Grantham because he was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease earlier this year.
“It’s ironic,” Grantham said. “When I first started with M&M Meats four years ago I didn’t even know what Crohn’s was.”
Both Crohn’s and colitis are forms of inflammatory bowel disease, with more than 200,000 people suffering from the conditions across Canada. There is no cure, and everyone has different symptoms, making it difficult to diagnose and treat.
“Some people can’t eat certain things,” Grantham said. “It’s all new to me so right now it’s all hit and miss.”
He counts himself lucky, however, as his symptoms don’t seem to be as severe as other people with the disease.
Some people have reported being able to only drink chicken broth and water for as long as a week before they feel better enough to eat.
Since opening Castlegar’s location in 2007, the store has raised a total of $6,600 for the cause.
“We’ve always been behind it anyway,” Grantham said, but this year he’s more passionate, hoping to raise at least $2,000.
M&M Meats hopes to raise $1.6-million across the country.
Every penny raised goes directly to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada to help find a cure for the diseases.
“We’re their number one fundraiser in Canada,” Grantham said.
Burgers and hot dogs will be on sale for $2.50 each, and they come with a bag of chips and a peach juice. Veggie burgers will be available as well.
Mayor Lawrence Chernoff, Coun. Kevin Chernoff and RCMP Sgt. Laurel Mathew will be on hand working the grill too.
For the kids, there will be face painting and helium balloons.
“I plan on putting on my lemon meringue pie-eating contest,” Grantham said. The contest caused quite a stir at last year’s barbecue when dark horse contestant Coun. Deb McIntosh took the title.
Grantham hopes she participates again with more challengers.
“She might be sick of the lemon meringue pie,” he said.
A similar contest was held last August at a fundraiser for the Community Harvest Food Bank, when Mountain FM’s Chris Wahl walked away with the title.
“It’s a fun event every year,” Grantham said. “I have lots of lemon meringue pies so we’ll see.”
The barbecue runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday in the parking lot of M&M Meats. The pie-eating contest is planned for around 2 p.m.