Smokin' for Garrett

Address: 620 N Cherry Street Mt. Carmel, IL


Phone: 812-629-0806

Smokin’ For Garrett (SFG) is an annual Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) Sanctioned Barbeque Contest and Non-Profit Scholarship fund created in the memory of Garrett Ward. In past years, our foundation has awarded scholarships to Tri-state area students/young adults pursuing a post secondary education after high school. Also, over the past 9 years, SFG has donated nearly $50,000 to various charities, scholarships, youth and youth groups along with donation of welding supplies, tools and equipment to local schools. This included donating all of the welding hoods, tools and supplies that Tecumseh High School needed to start a welding program. Garrett was a welder by trade and the scholarship is geared toward talented individuals that would like a career in a skilled trade. SFG believes that the need for skilled trade workers makes our program something different and special. SFG has made donations to various organizations as well in Garrett’s memory:  While We’re Waiting Support Group for Bereaved Parents, Operation BBQ Relief, Autism Awareness, Hearts of Hope Orphanage in Guatemala, The River Church, Imagination Library.  We cannot thank everyone enough for your support of SFG and helping us to keep Garrett’s memory alive!!!!


Garrett was only 19 years old when he was killed in a tragic boating accident on June 22, 2014. Losing Garrett has forever changed our family. He loved the outdoors, loved to hunt and fish, he loved his family and friends. He had a huge Ford F250 that was his pride and joy. He had a beautiful smile and personality that is missed everyday. His Uncle, Alby Ransom, who is a champion BBQ competitor started the competition in August of that same year as a way to honor Garrett’s memory. We had 11 local teams participate in a parking lot. We were amazed at the community support and decided to continue Smokin’ For Garrett every year. We are now having our 9th Annual Competition and have grown to having over 70 teams come from all over the United States to compete in our event. Garrett had many talents and was an “old soul.”  Our logo of the “free yourself” feather drawing is a picture that Garrett drew at the age of 17.  He was sitting at our kitchen counter drawing it and said, “I don’t know why I am drawing this.”  When my husband and I took over as organizers of the competition, we felt that this drawing needed to be our official logo to represent freedom from the pain of losing Garrett.  “He will cover you with His feathers and under His wings you will find refuge.”  Psalm 91:4 “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!” Mark 10:45.  We are thankful and blessed that we can honor Garrett’s memory year after year!

How to Apply for Scholarship

To apply for a Smokin’ For Garrett Scholarship or to make a donation, email Tina Howton @


Make Checks Payable to: Smokin’ For Garrett
Mail Envelope to: Tina Howton
620 North Cherry Street
Mount Carmel, IL  62863
Call with any questions to 812-629-0806 or email howtontina216@

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