Eighth annual BBQ, Bands & Brew fundraiser raises $123,000 to benefit Lee BIA Builders Care


The eighth annual BBQ, Bands and Brews fundraiser was a huge success, with the help of generous supporters in the local community. This year, Lee BIA Builders Care, the nonprofit charitable arm of the Lee Building Industry Association (BIA) raised over $123,000, a new record for the annual event which was held on Sunday, April 9th at the Lee County Alliance for the Arts in Fort Myers. Over 7,500 people attended the event to enjoy the live music, food from 10 local food vendors and activities for the whole family.  100 percent of the funds raised from the event will allow Lee BIA Builders Care to continue our mission and vital work in the local community, providing emergency home repairs and construction services to elderly, disabled and economically disadvantaged people

“With the help of dedicated staff, board of directors and more than 200 volunteers, we were able to carry out the most successful BBQ, Bands & Brew event to date,” said Christi Pritchett Sarlo, executive director of Lee BIA Builders Care. “We are so thankful for the local bands, sponsors, vendors and the Southwest Florida community that came together to make it happen for local homeowners in need.”

Event goers enjoyed live music provided by Soapy Tuna, Rockin’ Horse, Deb & the Dynamics and the Ben Allan Band. Entertainment was sponsored by Cape Coral Plumbing and Moen. The entire Alliance for the Arts lawn was covered with lawn chairs and blankets with people who watched and listened to the live music entertainment performed on the outdoor stage.

Local celebrity judges tasting various barbecue dishes to name the Best BBQ in Town.

Of course, no event is complete without delicious food. Ten local restaurants made up this year’s lineup, each offering a variety of BBQ food items. All food vendors competed in the barbecue competition judged by local celebrities such as radio personality Mike Tyler from Cat Country 107.1. This year’s winners included: MoFo’s Food Truck for best ribs, Jonesez BBQ for best chicken, Famous Dave’s for best pork, Slider City for the best side dish and Famous Dave’s for best presentation. For the eighth consecutive time, Jonesez BBQ won People’s Choice Award! If the long line coming from their stand was any indication, they are definitely a crowd favorite! This year’s Best BBQ in Town award went to MoFo’s Food Truck who previously won the award in 2015.

This event would not be made possible without the help and support of our wonderful volunteers. About 200 volunteers came out and assisted with the event. When asked why she volunteered for the event Jenifer Abraham, FGCU student replied “Lee Builders Care is a wonderful organization that helps people in our community. The BBQ, Bands & Brews event is an annual fundraiser they have, therefore, volunteering for them was a no brainer. I’m all for helping out nonprofits, especially knowing that the funds we are raising are going to a great cause.” Abraham assisted with the children’s barnyard area where kids were able to get their face painted, play fun games and enjoy a bounce house a giant slide. When asked about a specific moment that stood out to her at the event, Abraham responded “I looked over at the stage where the bands were playing and a ton of people were dancing and just having a great time being in the moment.  It just goes to show that you can help an organization and donate money to a great cause and have an awesome time while doing it.”

Activities for the entire family!

The title sponsor of this year’s event was All Star Equipment Rentals and Sales. Other major sponsors included: Ferguson, Sunset Air Conditioning, Cape Coral Plumbing, Moen, Minto Communities, Better Buildings, United Water Restoration, Argos, Action Automatic Door & Gate, Arthur Printing, Banks Engineering, Brent’s Music, Carter-Pritchett Advertising, Doc Fords, Everglades Farm Equipment, Five County Insurance, Florida Hydronic Solutions, Florida Weekly, Garden Street Portable Restrooms, Grabber Construction Products, Happenings Magazine, iHeartMedia, Kinetico Quality Water, Land Solutions Inc., Lee County Electric Cooperative (LCEC), Juniper Landscaping,  Lightning Wireless Solutions, Miromar Outlets, Nilles Design Group, Priority Marketing, Promotional Incentives, Sarlo Power Mowers, Six Bends Harley-Davidson, Southern Accents Catering, Stevens Construction, Suncoast Beverages/Shocktop, TargetonStar, the Trophy Case and WINK-TV.

Over 7,500 guests came out to enjoy the great time at the 8th annual BBQ Bands & Brew event

About Builders Care

Builders Care is the nonprofit charitable arm of the Lee Building Industry Association (BIA). Its mission is to provide emergency home repairs and construction services to elderly, disabled and economically disadvantaged people who are unable to obtain home repairs through traditional means. Over the last decade, Lee BIA Builders Care has put more than $4 million in construction services back into the community at no cost to homeowners in need.  Builders Care enlists the volunteer services of Lee BIA members and leverages grants and donated materials to provide construction and remodeling services to qualified homeowners throughout Lee County. Builders Care is headquartered at the Lee BIA offices at 10501 Six Mile Cypress Parkway, Suite 118 in Fort Myers. The Building Industry Association (www.BIA.net ) is a 62-year-old association affiliated with National Home Builders Association and Florida Home Builders Association that serves to strengthen our community by advancing a professional building industry through advocacy, education, and services. Donations can be made online at www.LeeBuildersCare.org, or to the Builders Care general fund at BB&T Page Field branch at 4959 South Cleveland Ave. in Fort Myers. More information is available by calling 239-938-0056. Follow Builders Care at Facebook.com/LeeBuildersCare or on Twitter @LeeBuildersCare.

BBQ, Bands & Brew featured live entertainment throughout the day, including a performance by the Ben Allen Band.

BBQ, Bands & Brew drew over 200 volunteers to assist with the event.