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WA BBQ Brings Together Community Kept Apart by COVID-19

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Thursday, May 12, 2022   

The pandemic has kept Washingtonians apart for the past two years. With COVID-19 numbers down, an event in Renton is aiming to bring people together again.

The annual Community Barbecue is a partnership between the United Way of King County and Doug Baldwin, the Super Bowl-winning wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks.

Baldwin is also the campaign chair for the United Way of King County. He said the idea for the event is simple: Bring people together in a family-friendly atmosphere.

"You got a whole bunch of people who are just kind of clamoring for that opportunity to get back together with their family, with their friends, with their neighbors, with the community in general," Baldwin pointed out. "And what better way to do that than with some barbecue?"

The event is June 18 at Renton Memorial Stadium. It's going to feature music and activities, including from the KidsQuest Children's Museum and Lego Guild.

Baldwin stressed people's inability to get together has taken a toll, and quoted his friend Brené Brown, a researcher and author.

"When there's a lack of connection, there's ultimately suffering, right?" Baldwin explained. "And I think we've all experienced that to some degree, and so this is kind of addressing that. This is getting back to a healthy level of connection."

Baldwin noted he has a personal connection with this kind of get-together, noting his grandpa always loved to barbecue.

"You could smell the barbecue and the fire in the front of the house before you even got to the backyard," Baldwin recounted. "And it was a special time where you just get together with your friends and with your family and get to catch up on life and share it over a good meal. "

He added the meal is $10 per plate, but emphasized no one will be turned away if they cannot afford it.

Disclosure: United Way of King County contributes to our fund for reporting on Community Issues and Volunteering, Education, Housing/Homelessness, and Human Rights/Racial Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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