OWATONNA — Bringing everything full circle, the Villarreal family was able to once again show its support for the Crisis Resource Center of Steele County in memory of one of the center’s most dedicated and passionate volunteers.
Using proceeds from the annual Chubb’s Brew-BQ event, friends and family of Juan Villarreal presented the CRC with a check for $15,000 from the Juan Villarreal Jr. Memorial Fund. The event, which predominately showcases beer- and barbecue-tasting contests, began in honor of Juan Villarreal Jr. the year following his death after battling cancer. Villarreal was an avid volunteer at the CRC, managing the center’s hotline and advocating for anyone in the community experiencing a crisis. He continued his volunteer work through his cancer treatments.
The event, which took place in early October, saw a record-breaking year in attendance. Organizers estimated up to 650 people came out to the Steele County Free Fair Beer Gardens that night to celebrate the enigmatic character that was Villarreal. Aside from the tasting contests, the event also held a silent auction, multiple raffles, and featured both homemade wine tasting and live music.
On top of the record-breaking attendance, organizers also confirmed that it was a record-breaking year for funds raised. Villarreal’s wife, Amy, stated that the opportunity to donate such a significant amount of money to a place that her husband believed so deeply in was “simply amazing.”
In previous years, proceeds from the event have gone to the We All Play committee to help bring an all-inclusive playground and miracle field to Owatonna and the Owatonna school district to aid in offsetting costs for extracurricular activities for local children who may not otherwise be able to follow their dream.