Phil’s BBQ Padres Tailgate Raises Money for Military Mentoring Program

July 16, 2012

Phil's Ribs!
Phil’s BBQ and Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County are partnering for the fourth straight year to raise money for Big Brother Big Sisters’ military mentoring program, Operation Bigs. Phil’s will be serving up its famous mesquite-grilled ribs, chicken and side dishes to thousands of hungry event-goers at PETCO Park before the Padres take on the Cubs on Monday, August 6, 2012 in order to raise money for the Operation Bigs program, which pairs children whose parents are in the military with a mentor from the community.

Phils BBQ raised nearly $40k in 2009
San Diego is home to 800,000 active duty and retired service members, the nation’s largest population of military personnel.  “One of the challenges military families and communities face is the burden felt by the families of our service men and women when their loved ones are deployed overseas,” said Paul Palmer, President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County. “Many of the children experience increased anxiety and separation when parents are away, which is why Big Brothers Big Sisters mentors are so important to these kids. Even just one hour a week can make a big difference for both the child and their parent(s) in terms of offering some stability and comfort.”

Operation Bigs is the first program of its kind in the nation, and has received public approval from First Lady Michelle Obama and California’s former First Lady Maria Shriver.  Volunteers spend time with a child, one hour a week, performing a variety of activities like playing sports, computer games, reading, crafts, etc., to give the needed individual attention that can enhance a child’s academic and social development. Currently, Operation Bigs runs programs from five schools on/near Camp Pendleton, in addition to sites in Coronado, Point Loma, Serra Mesa and MCAS Miramar.

Phil’s Big BBQ at the Ballpark will take place in PETCO Tailgate Park leading up to the Padres vs. Cubs game, from 5:00p.m.-7:00p.m. The two-hour event features a KidVentures Kids Zone, music, Karl Strauss beer garden and Phil’s finger-licking BBQ.  Last year, Phil’s BBQ staffers volunteered a total of 585 hours to help serve up a whopping 4,000 pounds of meat to nearly 3,000 guests. This year, Phil’s is hoping to raise another $50,000 for the charity. “It’s important to us as an organization that we are supporting local families, and especially military families that sacrifice so much for our country,” said Phil’s BBQ owner, Phil Pace. “We love partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters each year because we know what a difference Operation Bigs is making in the San Diego community by providing that needed support to military children.”

Since opening in 1998, Phil’s BBQ has become the staple for great BBQ in San Diego. The restaurant has won numerous local and national awards, including recently being named one of Yelp’s Top Ten Restaurants for 2011. Phil’s BBQ has rapidly expanded over the last several years, opening a second location in San Marcos and launching a line of their specialty BBQ sauce in Costco stores in 2011. They are also slated to open a third location in Santee this fall, and will have a fourth location in the San Diego International Airport come 2014.

In addition to Phil’s chicken, ribs and two side dishes, attendees will receive an ice cream dessert from Ben & Jerry’s Seaport Village, a Coca-Cola beverage and a ticket to that evening’s game. Tickets can be purchased for just $25 at either of the Phil’s BBQ locations, or online at and Season tickets holders can purchase a ‘meal only’ ticket for $20.  Tickets are available on a first come, first served basis. 100% of ticket sales go directly to Operation Bigs. For further information on Big Brothers Big Sisters Operation Bigs, visit  And check out the video below for more information.

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