Setting the feeling of victory and accomplishment with big smiles and jazz hands, the Bakken BBQ Committee revealed a check of $70,000 Wednesday that will be donated to Make-A-Wish North Dakota.
During a special ceremony at Brickhouse Grille in Dickinson, the committee gathered to present the generous check to Make-A-Wish North Dakota Regional Director Amanda Godfread and look back on the success from the 9th Annual Bakken BBQ that took place in June.
This year’s Bakken BBQ drew in a crowd of approximately 3,500 attendees — the largest crowd in event history. Bakken BBQ Co-founder Jackie Jenkin noted that this event raises a large monetary contribution each year that gives back to an important cause
“I’m just really excited to present the amount. The 9th Annual Bakken BBQ was a fantastic event and we had such a wonderful time this year,” Jenkin said, adding, “I’m just excited to celebrate with everybody our accomplishments.”
All fancied up in a fuchsia pink gown and a silver tiara, wish recipient Jocelyn Kreitinger, of Dickinson, lit up the room as Bakken BBQ Committee members presented her with a basket of royal goodies and her very own elegant tea set.
Kreitinger’s wish of turning into a princess was bestowed in May, where she paraded downtown in a horse-drawn carriage and fulfilled her inner princess spirit at a ball hosted at the Enchanted Castle in Regent. The 10-year-old was diagnosed with a life-limiting nervous system disorder for which there are no significant therapies.
“Our main reason to do this is for children like Jocelyn. So to have the opportunity to have her presence with us is exactly why we do it,” Bakken BBQ Co-founder Tiffany Steiner said. “I couldn’t think of better people to do this event for.”
In June, Make-A-Wish North Dakota surprised Cooper Craig, of Dickinson, with his wish of becoming a police officer for a day. With much preparation from the Dickinson Police Department, Craig spent the day learning from his heroes all about law enforcement, and even arresting a thief during a mock-robbery.
Every 20 minutes, a child is diagnosed with a critical illness. For each wish that the Make-A-Wish Foundation grants, three more children with critical illnesses have wishes that require financial support, according to the Make-A-Wish website.
Throughout the past few years, Steiner and Jenkin had the opportunity to meet some of the recipients of the Make-A-Wish donation proceeds. All year round, Make-A-Wish North Dakota continues to grant wishes for children with a critical illness between the ages of 2 1/2 to 18 years old.
“One wish was for Jocelyn, so we’re excited to see who else we can help out in southwest North Dakota,” Steiner added.