teams to vote for new award
in the late Garretts honor
(Aug. 11, 2006) Jeff Garrett, founder of the
Madison Ribberfest, died unexpectedly on Oct. 30, 2005. He knew how
to bring people together and get things done, and he knew how to get
them to reach into their pocketbooks and support a new festival or community
initiative. He was perfect for the role as executive vice president
of the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce, a position he held until his
In addition to the successful Madison Ribberfest, Garrett conceived
of three other community events that have become popular attractions
in Madison: the chambers Soup, Stew, Chili & Brew food and
music event held on Main Street in October; the chambers first
Texas HoldEm poker tournament; and the Ohio River Valley Folk
Festival, which held its inaugural event in May.
He had charm and appeal and was known throughout the community for
his warmth and friendliness. He was constantly planning the
next move or new ideas, even as he finished the final plans
on his current project. His ability to rally people to his side and
get them involved in his new ideas was the secret to his success,
his friends say.
That is why Shawn Auxier, chairman of the Kansas City Barbeque Society-sanctioned
professional cooking contest at the Madison Ribberfest, came up with
the idea to honor the late founder by naming a special award in his
memory. The GattoPuin Award will be presented on the Blues
Bash stage during the awards ceremony at 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19.
Lisa Garrett, Jeffs widow, said she was asked to come up with
something her husband said often or something he always talked about.
She said that after giving it some thought, she remembered how proud
he was of the awards he earned during his career as a Boy Scout.
In 1973, Garrett earned the highest honor of Eagle Scout and then
a special Order of the Arrow award as well. During a vigil
for the Order of the Arrow award, he was given an Indian
They were trying to figure out how to say he likes to eat, but
came up with something else instead, Lisa Garrett said.
Jeff was given the name Gattopuin, which means the
hungry one. She laughed and said, He was always hungry.
She thought the name would be perfect for a barbecue contest award.
The new Gattopuin Award during the Indiana State Barbecue
Cook-Off will be an award on which the the participating pro division
teams will vote. The teams will be judged on friendliness, love of
barbecue and helpfulness. Lisa said they are the personality traits,
along with his wicked sense of humor, for which Jeff will
always be remembered.
Teams will choose who among them best fits those characteristics.
The winner of the award will receive free entry into the next years
contest, a value of $200.
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