Red, White & Blue Barbecue

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June 20 - Starting at 3 PM

Get an early start on celebrating our nation's birthday!

Join us for the 9th Annual Red, White & Blue Barbecue presented by SRC, Inc.


Chef Griffin and his culinary team will prepare a special menu for the event featuring regional BBQ and a cariety of craft cocktails. Griffin, a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and graduate of the Culinary Arts and Service Management Program at Paul Smith’s College, will put together a menu with a global influence. A variety of bourbon, craft beer and wine selections - featuring local breweries Erie Canal / Seneca Street and Brewery Ommegang – as well as non-alcoholic beverages will be served, starting with an open bar leading up to the flagpole ceremony.

Entertaining the masses will be The Fabulous Ripcords, a Central New York music scene staple. The award-winning five-piece band performs a mix of roots, rockabilly, country, blues and swing.

Attendees can also enjoy horseshoes and corn hole, a tour of Clear Path’s raised-bed gardens planted to support the culinary program by Dr. Lee Newman of SUNY ESF and some of her students, a self-guided tour of Clear Path’s building and grounds, the extensive walking trails will be open until dusk, and the view from Clear Path’s scenic ridge line.

The Southern Hills Posse Motorcycle Club will be selling raffle tickets during the barbecue with the winner choosing between a 2020 Harley Davidson Street Bob or Honda Pioneer Side by Side ATV.

The Red, White & Blue Barbecue is Clear Path’s largest annual fundraiser, helping to support programs and services to thousands of Veterans each year. This year’s event – which starts at 4 p.m. June 15 – marks the barbecue’s eighth year.

The Miles & Maddy Award, which was established in 2013, will be presented for service above self in its truest form. This award honors the selfless service of Mark “Miles” Vigil and Maddy Spicer. Miles was a close friend of Clear Path’s Chief Strategic Officer Earl Fontenot and was always there to support those in need. After serving in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom, Miles lost his battle back at home and passed in 2010.  Maddy Spicer was a special dog that Melissa says taught her the importance of serving others.

As a certified therapy dog, “Maddy healed the souls of many,” Melissa said, before she passed away in April 2013. Each year, a civilian and Veteran are honored for their impactful service above self in honor of this special man and dog.

Tickets are on sale now by clicking here. Discounted multi-pack tickets are also available, and you can provide an opportunity to a Veteran to attend the event at no charge by purchasing a “Sponsor a Veteran” ticket.

Clear Path's mission is all-inclusive: to serve all who serve. All eras. All genders. All branches. In keeping with that all-inclusive spirit, we don’t do galas, balls, or black-tie events to raise money, we do it the old-fashioned way – where everyone is welcome and treated like family. So, our Red, White & Blue Barbecue NEEDS YOU! We cannot achieve our mission without the support of our community.

Please note: Only service dogs are permitted at Clear Path during the Red, White & Blue Barbecue. Thank you for understanding.

Thank you to our generous sponsors!

Miles & Maddy Award recipients:

Nels Youngstrom, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran
David Spicer

Mark Burns, U.S. Army (ret.)
Steve Strumlok

John Mays, U.S. Marine Corps (ret.)
Cindy Hawks

Ron Dean, Sr., U.S. Army Veteran
Lee Cooper


The history of the Red, White & Blue Barbecue

The facility currently known as Clear Path for Veterans in Chittenango was acquired in March 2011. That summer - when renovations to the facility were only two-thirds complete - Clear Path hosted a community open house dinner on June 18, 2011, that was attended by Syracuse University’s Head Football Coach Doug Marrone and his wife, Helen.

“During his tenure at the university, the couple believed in the Clear Path vision and saw first-hand the work being done and wanted to be a part of an organization that was built on trust and supporting military members, Veterans and their families in impactful ways. The Marrones had a vision: Would the Central New York community show its support by attending a swan ball or swine ball? They loved the idea of a community dinner, and our annual barbecue was born,” said Clear Path’s CEO and Co-Founder Melissa Spicer.

The official ribbon cutting at Clear Path for Veterans was held in September 2011, and the inaugural Red, White & Blue Barbecue was held just 10 months later. 

The Marrones attended Clear Path’s premier fundraising event in its first several years, even during Doug’s transition to Buffalo to become an NFL coach for the Bills in January 2013.

“The Marrones have been tremendous supporters of both Clear Path for Veterans and me personally. Helen was the first to tour the property with me and remained connected to all we do. Both Doug and Helen have made every effort to attend the annual barbecue and are very aligned with the integrity of our efforts. No matter where they live, we will always welcome them back to the CNY and Clear Path community,” Spicer said.

The Red, White & Blue Barbecue is Clear Path’s most important onsite fundraiser. Each year, the barbecue attracts guests from across the state and region, who come to the Clear Path campus to enjoy great entertainment, food and togetherness in a common cause of providing programs and services to those who have served.

“Our annual Red, White & Blue Barbecue is open to our entire community, who are the family and friends of those we serve. Many now call Clear Path for Veterans their ‘trusted go to’ for information, programs and services, and it’s because we, as a community, see value in investing in their well-being,” Spicer said.

“Our annual Red, White & Blue Barbecue has always served a dual purpose: First, to showcase the work being done at Clear Path for Veterans; and second, to bring the community in to show their support for those who wear the uniform. It’s a great opportunity to show support and to highlight how committed our community is to supporting our Veterans,” Spicer said.

Click here to reserve your tickets now!