While we all love to enjoy a good barbecued meal, Leechburg-based Joe Felschow, who also goes by the name “Big Joe,” uses his grill skills for helping people in need in the Leechburg area. This talented grillmaster often organizes barbecue benefits for charity for those experiencing hardships in his region.
According to Felschow, he is passionate about helping others around him in any way possible. He is actually a native of Buffalo, New York but shifted to Leechburg in 1997 and later graduated in 2006 from Leechburg High School.
Currently working as a senior machinist technician at Cook Medical in Parks Township, the grillmaster arranged for the very first BBQ benefit in 2012. He hosted a rock concert and meal combo fest at the Moose Club in Leechburg.
Ever since he hosts dozens of such food events along with other volunteers throughout the year for assisting the needy. He has dedicated the BBQFORBUDDY to his brother, who in 2018 was diagnosed with kidney failure and the last stage of renal disease.
Recalling his event dedicated to his brother, Felschow fired smokers from 6:30 a.m. up to 2 p.m. for barbecuing. That time, he prepared around 85 racks of ribs, 150 pounds of brisket and chicken, 45 pounds of smoked roasted beef, and over 100 pounds of pulled pork. And, he managed to raise around $10,000 to help his brother during his tough time of need.
To date, this popular grillmaster estimates raising around $30,000 with this barbecue benefits. For his noble efforts, Leechburg Area Community Association inducted him into the Leechburg Hall of Fame in 2021.
Last year, he also organized a barbecue benefit for a fire-displaced family in the Leechburg area. Even Doreen Smeal, Leechburg Councilwoman, was part of that event and praised Felschow’s commitment to helping others. According to Smeal, this man is really kind and considerate for putting in his time and effort. The family whom he helped has been very appreciative of his help.
So far, he has offered Thanksgiving Day groceries for over 110 families in the region. He even pays for the food with the benefits and also makes monetary donations from individuals and local businesses.
While he has been doing all this work alone, some of his friends also help him pull off these events smoothly. Even social media and word of mouth have been great mediums for gathering volunteers for the events.
The BBQ Info team also appreciates his efforts for the community. After all, there are very few people, like Felschow, who think of helping other people with their constant effort and valuable time.