Gettin’ Sauced donates $60k to MNVM


Organizers of the annual Getting’ Sauced Barbecue Competition delivered on their promise to help veterans on June 20, presenting donations to a number of area veterans service organizations.

“We raised a boatload of money,” said committee spokesman Stephanie Richardet, who acted as emcee for the event, “and we’re really excited to give it all away.”

The lion’s share of the money raised — $60,000 — was presented to Missouri’s National Veterans Memorial during the group’s appreciation dinner held at Richardet Floor Covering in Perryville.

“Your leadership and vision have built a sanctuary of gratitude and respect for our veterans everywhere, locally and across the country,” Richardet said. “The Missouri National Veterans Memorial stands as a beacon of honor and remembrance for all of us, for all of those who have served our country. This donation is a testament to your profound impact on preserving the legacy and sacrifices of our veterans.”

Richardet, along with other committee members, presented the donation to MNVM founder James Eddleman and other members of the memorial board.

Eddleman offered his thanks to the Gettin’ Sauced committee.

“I want to thank [Richardet Floor Covering owner Lynn Richardet] and his staff for all the hard work and time that it takes to organize the Gettin’ Sauced fundraiser,” Eddleman said. “I want to thank Gettin’ Sauced for the generous donation and congratulate the other recipients. I want to thank the competition teams for participating in the contest. Lynn is not going to allow me to be a competition judge. If I were, you would all be winners. I'm already looking forward to next year, when will be bigger and better and will continue to grow.”

Looking ahead, Eddleman briefly discussed future plans at the memorial’s 47-acre campus, located at 1172 Veterans Memorial Parkway in Perryville.

Thursday’s banquet not only served as a way for the Gettin’ Sauced committee to present their donations, but also as a thank you to those who contributed toward their fundraising goal. In her opening comments, Richardet said the organization had raised more than $300,000 in the past eight years.

“Thank you for your unwavering support,” Richardet said, recognizing the event’s top contributors. “Your generous contributions have made it possible for us to make a tangible difference in the lives of our veterans and their families. Your commitment to our cause is truly inspiring, and we could not have achieved any of our goals without all of you.”

Richardet also thanked the community leaders in attendance, along with the county’s many veterans.

“We appreciate your continued sacrifice and dedication to Perry County, and to bettering the community that we live in, are able to raise our families in and are able to host events like this,” Richardet said. “Most importantly, to our esteemed veterans — thank you for your service, your sacrifice, and your unwavering dedication to our country. Your bravery and selflessness are the very foundation of the freedoms we enjoy today. We are honored to serve you and to be part of your journey towards securing the resources and recognition you so richly deserve.”

In addition to the donation presented to MNVM, The Gettin’ Sauced committee — made up of Richardet, Katie Cissell, Tim Landholt, Kate Richardet, Lynn Richardet and Lisa Carroll — also presented a check for $500 to Camp Hope, a retreat for military veterans wounded in the War on Terror near Farmington, an amount matched by the Sons of the American Legion, Post 150, of Ste. Genevieve.

“Camp Hope has consistently provided invaluable support and resources to our veterans, helping them overcome challenges and find a path to healing and growth,” Richardet said.

In addition, the committee presented a check for $1,500 to VFW Post 2210 of Ste. Genevieve.

“They have an unwavering dedication to serving our veterans and providing a supportive community,” Richardet said, “and it is truly commendable.”

Finally, the committee presented a check for $2,000 to the Texas-based Kniestedt Foundation, which is “committed to helping veterans and law enforcement recognize and achieve their full potential as they return to civilian life.”

Following the check presentations, Richardet introduced Marine Corps veteran and Perry County prosecuting attorney Caitlin Pistorio.

“Caitlin embodies the virtues of leadership, service, and community spirit,” he said. “Her multifaceted roles as a wife, mother, attorney, and community leader inspire all who know her.”

In her remarks, Pistorio extolled the virtues and rarity of free speech in the world.

“What an amazing country we live in,” Pistorio said. “We have something so incredible in our First Amendment — the right to free speech. And it's astonishing — whether I agree with what's being said or not — the fact that we live in a country where you can speak out against your political leadership, you can talk about bills and laws that you have opinions on, you can speak out about wrongdoings that you believe you're seeing, even if the wrongdoings are somebody who has authority over you. What an incredible country we live in.”

Pistorio went to relate her thoughts after hearing an interview which a young college student in New York, who was protesting against Israel and praising various organizations with Palestinian ties, many of which have been classified as terrorist organizations.

“When I heard this, my heart sank,” Pistorio said. “How — in today's post 9/11 America — is there a young man leading cheers in favor of Hamas? A terrorist group, a political organization that supports terroristic ideology. How in the world is there an American cheering on terrorism? How in the world did we get here?”

Pistorio encouraged veterans, particularly those who’ve served overseas, to share their own viewpoints with younger generations.

“The only thing I can think of is he just doesn't get it,” Pistorio said. “He doesn't know. I think as veterans, it's very uncomfortable to talk about your service, to talk about what you saw, did, learned about. Heard about. However, you have seen, learned and heard about what only 6 percent of the American population have. Even fewer are able to talk about.

“You have to speak up. You have to educate others, especially the younger generations. You have to talk about your service. It's imperative that the younger generations hear about the atrocities committed by terroristic groups. People need to know about forced detainment and executions, about sexual mutilations of men and women, about the children being used as weapons, as if their lives have absolutely no meaning. People need to know what these terroristic organizations are capable of and really to do without giving it a second thought.”

Pistorio deemed it another call to serve.

“We as veterans may no longer wear the uniform, but we're still being called to serve today. This time, we're being called to serve through educating and talking about our service, through educating and talking about the realities of terrorism, communism, and the realities of war, as ugly as it may be at times. I understand that this challenge and duty may be hard for many of you. But there's never been a more important time than now. And frankly, if not us, then who?

“This is the only way we can assure that the younger generations truly understand what is at risk, and what our country can become.”

The next Gettin’ Sauced Barbecue Competition and fundraiser is scheduled for April 26. For more information, visit