Smokin’ T’s in Long Grove is hands-down my favorite place for BBQ. But my love for this restaurant grows even greater this time of year because of what they do for our Veterans.
Chef Tom Gescheidle and his family are the owners of Smokin’ T’s, and since 2008 they have offered the Military Meal Deal Program. Each year the staff spends hundreds of hours preparing over 6,000 pounds of fully cooked holiday meals which are then delivered at Thanksgiving and Christmas to the individual homes of over 150 Lake County veterans. Each meal is completely cooked and ready to feed between 9 and 12 family members.
The restaurant works closely with the Veterans Assistant Program to help those military families most in need of supplemental nutrition. Bringing families together over the holidays with healthy food lets the veterans know others are thinking of them and is a real cause for celebration.
I really like this program not only for the way that it honors our local veterans, but also because it gives customers and local groups the opportunity to give back. Long Grove families like mine have an easy way to directly make a difference by donating meals. Local service groups such as the Rotary Club of Long Grove, Kildeer & Hawthorn Woods and students from Stevenson High School get to thank the veterans themselves while personally delivering the meals on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Eve. This program is a win-win for everyone involved!
It takes a lot of hard work and organization to make this happen every year, and for the last eight years the Gescheidle family has done a wonderful thing for our community. For this reason I have recently nominated them for a local award. Keep your fingers crossed for this business to be recognized when the winners are announced in a few weeks.
As we all prepare to gather with our families I wish you a holiday table filled with warmth, delicious food, and love!