Muscatine’s Domestic Violence Shelter is one of the organizations that used to be subsidized by state and federal funding. This changed a few years ago, and when the funding went away, the Muscatine Center for Social Action brought the shelter under their umbrella.

Supporting this organization has now fallen on the shoulders of the community, and numerous fundraisers have popped up throughout Muscatine. The newest idea is coming from Chamberlin Heating and Air Conditioning.

Rob Newman of Chamberlin pitched an idea to Robbie and Scott Chamberlin about having a BBQ rib cookoff. “I had participated in one in Marion [Iowa], and I thought it would be a good way for the company to give back to the community,” Newman said.

Chamberlin Heating and Air Conditioning then looked at different organizations in Muscatine that were in need of assistance and selected the Domestic Violence Shelter as their choice. “With October being Domestic Violence Awareness month and having our event on September 30, we felt it was the right organization to support,” said Newman.

Rib cooks can still sign up to compete and must provide their own cooking equipment. “We have competitors coming from surrounding areas and local competitors as well.” There is a $30 entry fee and each competitor will be provided pork baby back ribs from the West Liberty Locker. A panel of celebrity judges will select a winner, but the community can come and sample the food and make a donation for their favorite ribs. The team that has the most money at the end of the day will be named the People’s Champion, and all money raised will be donated to the Muscatine Domestic Violence Shelter. Chamberlin Heating and Cooling will match dollar-for-dollar the money raised to donate to the shelter.

Judy Yates, the director of the shelter, is very thankful for the event. “We couldn’t serve the women and families we serve without the generosity of the community,” Yates said.

This past year, the shelter housed 57 women who were leaving abusive situations. “The average woman leaves seven to ten times before permanently leaving her situation,” said Yates. “Our facility is a tremendous asset to our community as women and families are able to get the support they need without completely leaving their homes.”