Even during a pandemic, local businesses and the Dickinson community came out back in August for the Bakken BBQ to help support Make-A-Wish, exceeding expectations to be able to donate a large monetary contribution.

Bakken BBQ Committee members presented a check for $75,000 to Make-A-Wish North Dakota Thursday evening at the Eagles Club in Dickinson, to help fulfill children’s wishes with a critical illness. Although the attendance was down from 2,500 to 1,500 and only 13 companies participated in the cook-off compared to the usual 23-25 companies, the 8th Annual Bakken BBQ, which took place Aug. 21, was still a success, Bakken BBQ Co-founder Tiffany Steiner said.

In 2019, the Bakken BBQ was able to raise over $100,000. Though this year’s donation was a little lower than previous years, the event was still a true testament to what the Dickinson community is all about, Steiner noted.

“I think with everything going on in this year, it was really nice and exciting to be able to donate $75,000 to a good cause and to our local community,” Steiner said. “... We had local companies that stepped up and sponsored our event to make that possible so it was so incredible to see that number and just know we can still help children because children's wishes are still happening even though there’s Covid. Life is still happening.”

With the $75,000 check, Make-A-Wish North Dakota is currently working on making a child’s wish come true in Dickinson and will eventually be announced once details come to fruition. Steiner said that the Make-A-Wish Foundation has been able to help so many children and families throughout the years and it’s meaningful to give back to such a great cause.

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“I think Make-A-Wish definitely brings a new light into the world of the Make-A-Wish children and their families. I know a couple of the Make-A-Wish children that we helped in the past. It lets them forget about what’s going on in their life for a second and they’re able to focus on something else,” she said, adding, “Whether it’s a Disneyland trip or if it’s a puppy. It’s something that they can focus on and it’s something that doesn't make them think of all the bad things that they have to go through.”

Without the support of the Dickinson community, the event would not have been possible this year, Steiner remarked.

“The Bakken BBQ is so appreciative of all the local companies, cookers and everyone that has come out in support this year. We understand that it was a tough year for everyone and we couldn’t be more proud of our community for stepping up and helping out people when they need it the most,” she added.

The 9th annual Bakken BBQ is scheduled for Friday, June 18, 2021, at the West River Ice Center parking lot and will be in celebration of all the local first responders. To help sponsor or participate in the next Bakken BBQ, email bakkenbbq@hotmail.com.