Something in this title seems out of place, but that definitely wasn’t the case this past weekend when DocuSign joined the Fraternal Fires & BBQ Charity Fundraiser as the platinum sponsor of the event. The Knights of Columbus Council #2951, out of Florissant, Missouri, has hosted the event the past two years. After two years, the event has grown to be the second largest St. Louis BBQ Society event.The funds raised support local emergency responders, Backstoppers, and Knights of Columbus Charities.
So how did DocuSign become involved? The primary organizer, James (Jim) Zak is the Director of Global Procurement at MetLife, and has been using DocuSign for about a year. Jim attended DocuSign Momentum 2014 and was very impressed with our products and our commitment to support charity causes. Jim asked his DocuSign account manager, James Cooper, if we could be involved in the charity fundraiser in some way. DocuSign viewed this as an ideal opportunity to support a great cause, spread the word about DocuSign, promote Free the Children, and invite clients from the St. Louis area to the event.
Despite the summer heat and humidity and the threat of thunderstorms, there was a great turnout. More than 38 barbeque teams competed as part of the St. Louis BBQ Society’s competitive circuit. With team names like Roadkill BBQ, A Pig’s Worst Nightmare, 2 Greasy Sicilians, Two Butts and a Ham, and Smoke ‘Em if You Got ‘Em, you could clearly see that there was going to be some fierce competition and a lot of humor involved. In addition to more than 20 award-winning teams in the competition, the event featured cooking demonstrations from grill masters who have been showcased on The Travel Channel and Pit Master BBQ. I was able to taste numerous samples, and the different flavor combinations were out of this world.
During the event, DocuSign promoted and collected donations for Free the Children’s “We Create Change” program, which is an education-focused initiative for improving access to education in developing communities around the globe. The program’s goal is to build 200 new schools. Funds are collected through school-shaped coin collection boxes. Each $20 donation provides one brick for construction of a new school, giving children a chance to learn and help a generation enact change for themselves.
Jim Zak has a special connection with The Backstoppers organization, which is a greater St. Louis-area charity that provides financial and emotional support to the families of Police Officers, Firefighters, and publicly-funded paramedics or EMTs that have died on duty. Jim had a family member who was killed in the line of duty, and his family was assisted by the program. The organization makes mortgage and car payments, pays off debt, and covers other expenses. In addition, each family receives a “friend of the family” volunteer who stays in touch.
In the future Jim is hoping to utilize DocuSign to help with the event. “DocuSign would definitely be extremely helpful with managing the agreements and contracts used in putting on the fundraiser,” Jim said. “There is a large amount paperwork involved between vendors and contestants when putting together an event of this size,” he added.
Upon departing the Fraternal Fires & BBQ Charity Fundraiser I had full belly of BBQ and was happy to help out a great cause.
Howard Berg is a Field Marketing Manager for DocuSign’s Real Estate Vertical.