Barbecue ministry raises more than $90K for Sutherland Springs shooting victims

By Mariah Medina - Digital Journalist, Max Massey - Reporter/Anchor

ADKINS, Texas - A daylong barbecue to help victims of the mass shooting at a Texas church raised more than $91,000.

Smokin' Angels BBQ Ministry organized the effort Saturday at a tiny church in Adkins, a town just outside San Antonio. Organizers say all of the money raised will help families of those killed or wounded during the Nov. 5 shooting rampage at First Baptist Church in nearby Sutherland Springs.

The fundraiser sold thousands of $10 plates of barbecue. Many visitors also left additional donations.

Volunteers worked overnight smoking 5,000 pounds of meat. When they quickly sold out, another 6,500 pounds of meat was donated.

Organizers hoped the barbecue could raise $50,000 for families of the victims, but thanks to a hungry and helpful community, they raised nearly double.

"My goal would be to get 20, 30, 40 thousand for these people," Alex Marroquin, a volunteer who knew the victims, said during the fundraiser. "I mean, like he said, the money will never replace the actual victims but it will help in the recovery process of this."

Ministry co-founder Mike Ritch says he's proud of how volunteers came together in just three days.

Ritch and his wife, both professional chefs, founded the ministry after Hurricane Harvey when they saw a need to feed people in times of crisis.

Funds are continuing to be raised for families affected by the shooting. Kristin's Kustom T's at LV Spirit Shop is taking shirt orders until Nov. 22 and proceeds will go to families affected by the Sutherland Springs shooting.

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