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Apple Blossom BBQ Preview

Big weekend ahead for St. Joseph as the Apple Blossom Festival arrives. Tonight, things get started with a barbecue contest to benefit the Children's Advocacy Center.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) A big weekend ahead for St. Joseph as the Apple Blossom Festival arrives. Friday, things get started with a barbecue contest to benefit the Northwest Children's Advocacy Center.

Dozens of teams were busy preparing Friday for the annual Apple Blossom BBQ contest benefiting the Northwest Children's Advocacy Center. Some traveled as far away as Kansas City to compete for bragging rights and take home the grand prize. Teams went toe-to-toe to decide who has the best BBQ.

"It's all hand rubbed. It is going to be the best BBQ you've ever had. We've got multiple blends and dry rub seasonings that are flavored and cooked slow for the most tender meat you'll ever get," stated David Stracke, a contestant in the BBQ cook-off who traveled from Kansas City.

If there's anything that anybody can do in order to help children that can't help themselves, then I think you should be able to do that. Just by us being able to come and cook and also be able to contribute to such a great cause it's just the cherry on top," stated Stephanie Wilson, a contestant at the festival.

Lisa Rock, vice-president at the Northwest Children's Advocacy Center is expecting hundreds to show up this weekend. She says despite the fun and games, child abuse is serious and it's important to have support from the community.

"This is a fundraiser and we rely heavily on donations, funds and gifts from outside  sources and this is one of our major fundraisers," added Rock.

The center helps children heal from abuse and serves nine counties. Since the counseling is free for victims, the agency depends heavily on public funds and hosts several fundraisers throughout the year. Leaders say with the community's support, they can help more children.

"Make the children understand that there is good after they've been abused," said John Joe, board member for the Northwest Children's Advocacy Center.

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