Moe’s in Eagle hosts benefit for tornado victims |

Moe’s in Eagle hosts benefit for tornado victims

EAGLE, Colorado – Jeff Kennedy, Mike Fernandez and Ben Gilbert are from Alabama. They happened to be there when a series of tornadoes tore through the state the night of April 27. Since then, the Moe’s Original Bar B Que founders have been trying to help.

The latest effort comes Saturday, when the Moe’s location on Grand Avenue in Eagle will host a “Moe-Down,” an afternoon of music, crawfish, and, of course, stuff straight from the smoker.

The event was first planned for May, to allow more people to come and play on the restaurant’s patio. But May’s weather led the partners to delay the event until the sunnier days of June.

And, while the tornadoes hit Alabama more than a month ago, Fernandez said there’s still plenty of work to do.

“Tuscaloosa’s a college town, so there’s plenty of support there,” Fernandez said. “But the small towns outside Tuscaloosa were hit hard.”

In fact, Fernandez said, a couple of towns that were already on the decline won’t be rebuilt at all.

While this party is coming a little late, the Moe’s partners have already been hard at work. Tornadoes also hit Huntsville, Ala., that night, and knocked out power for several days to the Moe’s in that city. Rather than let coolers full of food spoil, the partners started cooking, helping to feed police, fire and rescue crews.

And other Moe’s locations have also been helping out. Billy Draper, who runs a pair of Moe’s restaurants in Denver, last month held a fund-raiser that pulled together $11,000 in cash and a semi tractor-trailer rig full of supplies. There was so much, in fact, that the truck made a stopover in Joplin, Mo., which was hit by a devastating tornado May 22.

Tornadoes take moments to destroy, but rebuilding takes time, so donations of any kind are still welcome. And, Fernandez said, people can have a good time while they’re helping.

“We’re looking to have a great day,” he said. “We expect to see a lot of kids out on the patio.”

Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930 or

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