The second annual ZipperQ fundraiser event Saturday raised a total of $110,000 in support of Claremore’s own Zip Gordon and Fibrodysplashia Ossidicans Progressiva (FOP) research. More than 700 attendees gathered on the grounds of the Route 66 Nut House for live music, BBQ, live and silent auctions and a raffle for a 2013 Jeep Wrangler.
Zip’s parents and hosts of ZipperQ2, Amy and Jacob Gordon, came up with the idea of organizing the first annual ZipperQ following Zip’s diagnosis of FOP two years ago. FOP is a rare disease that causes bones to form in muscles, tendons and connective tissue, eventually enclosing the patient in a second skeleton.
Amy said more than 85 percent of funding for FOP research comes from families of those who have been affected.
All proceeds from ZipperQ will be sent to the International Fibrodysplashia Ossidicans Progressiva Association (IFOPA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization supporting medical research, education and communication for those afflicted by the disease.
“This is a really important cause and we’re thankful for everyone who came out, and for the donors and volunteers who put a lot of time and effort into making (ZipperQ2) a remarkable day,” she said. “I’m proud to say Claremore once again stood by Zip and FOP research.”
Taste kits made up of brisket, ribs, pork and chicken were cooked by participants in the BBQ “throwdown,” and were available to the public for purchase throughout the fundraiser. More than 20 teams competed in the cookoff and were judged on aroma, appearance, texture and taste.
It’s a League Game Smokey earned first place overall for the competition.
7 Devils Smoke Wagon earned first place in the brisket category, Smokin’ Pistons earned first place for ribs, Holy Smoke won first place for pork and She Thinks my Slabs are Sexy earned first place for chicken.
Leia Hassell of Claremore was declared winner of the Jeep raffle.
Hassell was unable to attend the event, but was left a message on her home phone directly following the announcement of the winning ticket.
As Amy and Jacob were thanking attendees for their support, Leia’s husband Derick called back.
He said Leia was completely surprised, and unaware that her parents had entered her name in the raffle.
Sponsors for ZipperQ2 included Rogers County Abstract, Spectrum Paint, Neely Insurance & Financial Services, Trinity Episcopal Church, Premier Consulting Partners, The Ross Group, Melton Services, Cars.com and The Nut House.