John Brian Hale of team Automative Excitement, pulls a rack of juicy ribs off the grill Saturday at the annual Rock ‘n’ Ribs Benefit, held on Water Avenue. Hale’s team took home second place in the competition. -- Sarah Cook
John Brian Hale of team Automative Excitement, pulls a rack of juicy ribs off the grill Saturday at the annual Rock ‘n’ Ribs Benefit, held on Water Avenue. Hale’s team took home second place in the competition. -- Sarah Cook

Local charities the focus of Rock ‘n’ Ribs event

Published 7:39pm Monday, May 13, 2013

A smoky, savory scent wafted through Water Avenue Saturday as the Black Belt Benefit Group Hosted their 2nd Annual Rock ‘n’ Ribs Benefit. Nine teams competed in the benefit — all bringing their best ribs and “redneck hors d’oeuvres” to the table.

“We had a really great turnout this year, and all the ribs were just phenomenal,” said Paul Wilkerson of the Black Belt Group.

Proceeds from the event benefitted Habitat for Humanity and SABRA Sanctuary. Wilkerson said he and other group members host the event as a way to give back to the community.

“It’s just a part of being in a small town. You help out where you can,” he said.

And although all the recipes were impressive, it was the Twisted Sisters of Hancock’s BBQ that took home the title of best ribs in the judge’s category. Team members included Emily Hancock, Erin Hancock Wilson, Steve Wilson and Mike Hancock.

Michael Johnson, one of the judges, said first place was judged on presentation, creativity, flavor and texture.

“They were all so great,” Johnson said of the teams. “It was a tough decision — a really close call.”

Coming in second place for best ribs was Automotive Excitement, a team made up of John and Mary Brian, Christie Hale, Johnny Hale and David Taccone. People’s choice, which was given to the team who received the most tips, went to Ed Moore, Wilbur Sanders and Edward Sanders.

“We had some really good teams this year,” Johnson said. “It was difficult to pick a winner.”

Shane Langford of Greenville brought his entire family to participate in the competition.  After hearing about the benefit from a friend, he said he knew it was something his family would enjoy.

“We like small town venues and hometown crowds,” Langford said. “It’s a family affair for us.”

With the team name Stroker’s Ace BBQ, Langford said his family participates in competition barbecue several times throughout the year.

“Everyone in Selma has been so welcoming to us,” Langford said. “This is just such a great atmosphere here and we’ve really enjoyed ourselves.”

And although the total amount raised hasn’t been calculated yet, Wilkerson said he expects the totals to be great.

“A huge thanks to all the sponsors, volunteers and teams,” Wilkerson said. “The day was a great success.

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