I’d love to tell you that the most important part of any major event is the photography, but if you’ve ever visited LD’s BBQ out in East Troy it’s not hard to understand why great food trumps all. Once again, Leon Davis pulled out all stops as he hosted his annual BBQ Seminar on May 19th. While this is a circled event on many local and regional calendars each year, this was an especially meaningful experience as this represented the first Seminar at LD’s new, recently-renovated home.
Having just won the 2019 Business of the Year Award from the East Troy Chamber of Commerce, and having gone through some exciting transition in the months leading up to the Seminar, it would have been easy to take a pass this year and come back for a fired-up event in 2020. Much like his smoked short ribs, however, this year’s event proved to be bigger than ever. While the BBQ Seminar, featuring presenters Grant Tipton from T3 Culinary and Joe Parajecki from Pritzlaff Meats, had a bigger crowd than ever, it was simply the start of a big day. Once the Seminar class let out and the participants began enjoying their creations, the live music began featuring Reverend Raymond & The Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys, who then turned the stage over to The Spectaculars. Even some sporadic weather challenges couldn’t chase the patrons away.
The high point of the day though had to be when a name was pulled from a bucket, and a gentleman named Chris Bottoni found himself as the fortunate recipient of a 2019 Indian Motorcycle that was being raffled as a part of the festivities. It seems that Leon wanted to do something special to celebrate the day, and many months earlier had put the pieces in place to give back, while continuing to build his already iconic presence in the community. With the help of Indian Motorcycle of Metro Milwaukee, the raffle was organized to benefit the EZ-ID Program being implemented by TRIAD, an organization within the Walworth County Sheriff’s Department. This program is dedicated to helping to locate missing or abducted children or senior citizens, and to get them home safely. Though a free service to all, the startup costs had to come from someone or somewhere, and Leon decided that LD’s BBQ was going to be part of the solution. This generosity came as surprise to absolutely NO ONE that knows Leon, and the more time you spend at LD’s the more obvious it becomes that he really does represent the best of what small businesses do in our local communities.
So when people ask why I love offering Event Photography, these are the types of events that come to mind. Besides the camaraderie that is present at a great event, you just never know what amazing moments you are going to capture as you tell the story. And if left to chance, those moments come and go, and are too often held only in our memory. Having the opportunity to highlight those moments, and to preserve them for posterity, is truly one of the greatest pleasures that comes with this gig.
(As a side note, there is an incredibly touching story that accompanies the raffle drawing and the gentleman that took this beautiful motorcycle home. But that isn’t my story to tell, and I don’t tell it as well as Leon does. But should you find yourself in the mood for the best BBQ that you’ll find north of Memphis, and want it served with a side of “feel good story,” I’d suggest making a visit to LD’s BBQ in East Troy. It doesn’t matter how far your drive, it’ll be worth the trip.)