Newly designated as a corporate store and franchisee training headquarters, Woody’s Bar-B-Q of Ponte Vedra has been making some exciting changes lately for the benefit of its patrons and the community. In addition to a recent $100K renovation to the restaurant’s interior and the release of new daily specials, the St. Johns County eatery has teamed up with Ponte Vedra-based nonprofit, K9s For Warriors. K9s For Warriors is dedicated to training and providing service dogs to military veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury and/or Military Sexual Trauma as a result of military service post-9/11. Located at 226 Solana Road, Woody’s Bar-B-Q of Ponte Vedra will host two events to benefit K9s For Warriors as its dedicated charity during October.
Throughout October, Woody’s Bar-B-Q of Ponte Vedra has declared a friendly competition between Interact Clubs at Ponte Vedra High School and Fletcher High School. Both schools will receive flyers to distribute to friends, parents, neighbors and the public. When the recipient presents a flyer to Woody’s Bar-B-Q of Ponte Vedra, the restaurant will donate 20% of the meal ticket to K9s For Warriors and keep a tally of which school brings in the most donations. An announcement of the winning school will be made in November, along with the total amount raised for the nonprofit.
On October 12, Woody’s Bar-B-Q of Ponte Vedra will host a grand reopening to show off its new look and introduce patrons to the new owners – company cofounders, Yolanda Mills-Mawman and Woody Mills. The event will include giveaways, raffle for prizes, food samples, live music and kid-friendly activities. Throughout the event, the restaurant will also collect donations for K9s For Warriors. Representatives from the nonprofit will be on hand to offer information about its program and introduce guests to a few service pups in training.
“Woody and I are so proud to partner with K9s For Warriors,” said Mills-Mawman, president of Woody’s Bar-B-Q. “There’s just something about love of barbecue and love of country that go hand-in-hand. In addition to our new relationship with K9s For Warriors, we offer a 10% discount to all active military members and veterans who dine with us at Woody’s Bar-B-Q of Ponte Vedra. It’s our way of saying ‘thank you for your service.’”
Veterans who attend the no-cost, three-week in-house training program with K9s For Warriors receive all necessary equipment, daily training, home cooked meals, wrap-around services and assistance, plus a service dog for life. The organization relies on the generosity of its supporters by way of donations and grants to support its operations. Since its inception in 2011, K9s For Warriors has graduated 564 warrior/dog teams. In addition to helping veterans, K9s For Warriors also helps the dogs it brings into service. The majority of dogs used in the program are from rescue shelters. As of July 2019, 1,068 dogs have been rescued through the program. The organization also relies heavily on support from its amazing volunteers who assist by becoming ambassadors for the program to attend local events, help with kennel enrichment tasks, or puppy raise and foster dogs. To learn more about K9s For Warriors, visit www.k9sforwarriors.org.