Sheboygan Falls, Wis,
11:08 AM

Grilling for Good

What happens when you bring together a passionate community volunteer, 5,000 Johnsonville brats and the 65-foot traveling grill?

Good times and good money raised for a great cause.

Marcia, one of our business managers based in St. Louis, helps bring this all to life each spring in Peoria, Illinois – home of the Susan G. Komen Memorial Affiliate. The non-profit resides in the city where it originated and serves 36 counties in central Illinois, working hard to save lives and support research that aims to find a cure for breast cancer.

Marcia – a breast-cancer survivor herself – was eager to get involved in joining her co-worker Sharon, who began organizing the “Brats for a Cure” fundraiser in Peoria several years ago. Sharon and Marcia work with their retail partner, Schnucks, and the Susan G. Komen team to plan this – which has grown to raise more than $20,000 each year for the local chapter. What helps draw visitors to this annual fundraiser? The smell of Johnsonville brats cooking on the Johnsonville Big Taste Grill. This year's event grilled 5,000 brats and raised more than $20,000.

“It’s my favorite week to work,” said Marcia, a 25-year Johnsonville member. Each spring, she makes the 170-mile drive north of her home and puts the 3-day grilling event into action at one of the Peoria-based Schnucks stores. She’s organized the event after Sharon retired a few years ago. “Sharon continues to join me and we enjoy building upon this each year,” adding that she works closely with the Komen and Schnucks teams based in Peoria months in advance.

Marcia and Sharon were honored to help deliver pre-orders to the Peoria Cancer Center and the Illinois Eye Institute. “Pre-orders are a big part of this event, as we make deliveries to local car dealerships, medical offices and many other businesses who can’t get out to the grill but want to support the cause,” said Marcia.

Looking to 2019, Marcia is ready to get started on the next event. She enjoys the partnership with the Schnucks and Komen staff, and dozens of volunteers who all come together to make a great event for the greater Peoria community. “It is a lot of work, but so rewarding when you’re doing your small part to give back to something so meaningful.”