A Cheesehead and Some Barbecue

It doesn’t take a lot to make a difference. Sometimes, it only takes one weekend. That’s how volunteer and barbecue judge Dave Castona feels about Home of Hope’s Sip & Swine fundraiser. 

Castona got involved with Sip & Swine on a whim. At the time, he was traveling back and forth from his home in Wisconsin to Atlanta for work. He found himself stuck in Georgia for the weekend with no plans. So, he thought “why not?” 

Castona had become a Kansas City Barbecue Society judge in 2008, and he didn’t need any excuses to dust off his title. When he heard Sip & Swine was in need of judges for their barbecue competition, Castona jumped at the opportunity. 

He first joined Sip & Swine in 2017 and quickly became a regular judge. After moving to Georgia, he took on more responsibilities and began managing all of the beer and wine concessions at the festival. 

“It can be crazy fun as a volunteer,” said Castona, “You’re just trying to sell as much beer as possible because every can or cup we sell is a donation, and that money goes directly back to Home of Hope, which they can use for great things.” 

Sip & Swine is more than a festival. It brings the community together for a greater cause: helping women and their children transition from homeless to hopeful to a home of their own. 

“My favorite part of Sip & Swine is just being able to help Hope of Hope and support what they do for women and children in Gwinnett. It’s also turned into one of the biggest barbecue competitions in the Atlanta area and draws in some pretty big celebrities” said Castona. 

Interested in joining in the fun? We are still looking for Sip & Swine volunteers. Sign up now at sipandswine.com/volunteers.