Evesham Township Council gave this month’s Community Impact Award to Mission BBQ at its July meeting.
The eatery was recognized for its charitable work on behalf of veterans and first responders in the township. Its efforts include raising money for township police and fire rescue and providing free meals to veterans. The restaurant has also sent care packages to deployed troops overseas.
Gina Goetschius, community ambassador for Mission BBQ, explained that the restaurant supplies a lunch meal for law enforcement and first responders every week.
“Once a week, (Mission BBQ) goes out into the community, picks up a police officer, first responder, paramedic — anybody under our protective umbrella — and we give them lunch, once a week, every week,” she said.
Mission BBQ also partners with the nonprofit Honor Flight Network through sales of American Heroes Cups at any of the restaurant’s locations. The nonprofit’s mission is to celebrate America’s veterans by inviting them to share in a day of honor at the nation’s memorials.
The restaurant donates a portion of each sold cup toward the fund. So far, it has donated about $12,000.
Goetschius emphasized the importance of the restaurant’s partnership with the Honor Flight Network and what the program meant to veterans from her own personal experience.
“It’s very emotional and very personal when you’re escorting 140 military veterans to the Washington monument, some of them seeing it for the first time,” she noted.
“So for every seven cups we sell, we (donate to that fund),” Goetschius added. “(The Honor Flight Network) was absolutely magnificent, and I encourage anybody to sign up and be a part of that.”
Council introduced the Community Impact Award earlier this year as a monthly recognition of people or groups who make a difference in the community.
Mayor Jaclyn Veasy expressed gratitude for Goetschius and Mission BBQ’s work to be involved in the town and give back to the community.
“We wanted to give you and (Mission BBQ) this award for all of the work that you do for veterans, not only through Mission BBQ, but your own heart (as well),” Veasy said.
Goetschius thanked the township council for the award and stated that she’s inspired to work in the community as a way to help out those in need.
“Anybody can do it,” she said. “It’s nice to give back to the community. When somebody gets something that’s unexpected it gives them a little faith in humanity, because Lord knows, we all need it these days.”