Restaurant Revisited: Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Missouri

by in Shows, December 9th, 2012

Robert Irvine on Holiday: ImpossibleOn Holiday: Impossible, Robert Irvine shifted his focus away from restaurants and onto a deserving organization just in time for the holiday season. He traveled to Joplin, Mo., to transform a local Boys & Girls Club that has given so much to its storm-ravaged community after a deadly tornado struck the region in 2011. Unlike any renovation he’d done before, this was Robert’s largest and most difficult mission to date. Robert’s challenge in Joplin was twofold: give a second life to the expansive, multi-purpose space at the Boys & Girls Club facility and cater a special holiday party for a whopping 1,000 people.

Robert Irvine on Holiday: ImpossibleIn celebration of the season, Robert completed the mission with a bit of holiday cheer, thanks in large part to the generosity of his Restaurant: Impossible team, fellow chef friends and the Lexus Culinary Masters, who increased his time and spending limits from the usual two days and $10,000 to three days and $30,000. After just 72 hours, the Boys & Girls Club in Joplin reopened with secure entrance, bright, colorful walls, a fully equipped kitchen, increased storage and other functional elements that will help the club carry out their kids-first mission.

Robert Irvine on Holiday: ImpossibleA few months after the renovation, Rhonda Gorham, the Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Missouri, told us that the children and staff of the club have been overjoyed with the new space and the changes that Robert and his team made. Rhonda added that parents, too, have been wowed with the overhaul. “They have always known we were a positive, safe place to be, but now [the facility] is all shiny and new.”

The organized cubbies and clean, stocked kitchen that Cheryl and Tom worked on have been among the most helpful elements of the new design. Candace continues to cook at the club, and Rhonda tells us that “she is getting to know her kitchen and is starting to experiment a bit,” especially with healthful meals.

Robert Irvine on Holiday: Impossible“We would love to add on to our building and be able to serve more children,” Rhonda said, looking ahead. “I am always thinking about how we can serve more kids, how we can grow our programs, how we can be the best we can be! I have a great team who love kids and who are always looking to make the Boys & Girls Club a better place for our kids.” To Robert and his entire team, Rhonda admitted, “There is no thank-you big enough. To see the kids’ and staff’s reactions to the changes made my day, week and year.”

Check out behind-the-scenes images of Robert’s transformation of the Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Missouri.

Click here to make a donation to the Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Joplin, then read how you can help the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

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Comments (43)

  1. Jess says:

    This episode had me in tears during most of the entire show. Robert Irvine and crew are the most loving, caring people to do what they do especially for children. God bless and Merry Christmas to you all. I love your show. Jess………

  2. What is the name of the restaurant equipment company that gave all that equipment for $1,500. We need to buy some things from them. Thank you Chef Robert, Lexus and all. Just another absolutely great episode of RI.
    Haven't missed a one.
    Dave & Darla

  3. Passing thru says:

    Good job Team Robert. But just wondering why you only use that one designer for the "special" episodes? Does she have some perk because she was there first?

    I'd like to see Tom or Taniya in some of your special make overs too. I'm sick of her whining about how overwhelmed she is. Biggest whiner out of all the designers. Honestly, she should feel lucky to be part of these "special" make overs. Geez she got to meet the first lady in one of them. You think she can be a bit more chipper about the whole experience. Don't be a downer on national TV please. But thank you for doing the make over.

  4. franklin ashley says:

    as a fellow chef I am so so proud, your tireless efforts and perceptions are to be commened, needed as some of these folks should have taken some courses in hospitality and culinary arts huh, thanks for saving them! Super job in DC and Brenda you ARE a Hero!!! and you never faget the troops!!!

  5. Sir PeeAlot says:

    I think it would be cool if they have his Dinner: Impossible crew on regularly to prep and train some of these restaurant's chefs, but that would probably bloat their budget. Maybe they can rotate one of his Dinner: Impossible chefs like they do their designers….because most of the so called "chefs" these restaurants employs never had professional training.

    Maybe they can save on budgets by not having Lynn on anymore. Seems like the only two colors he ever uses is lime green or lime yellow, but I do appreciates his 'can do' attitude though. Don't want you to lose your job Lynn, maybe you can still be on the set helping out painting and other things.

  6. rangel says:

    That food that yall cooked at the boys and girls center had my mouth watering

  7. sohbet says:

    very blog thanks admin

  8. Jerry F says:

    Great to see David and George again….use them more !!!!

  9. Tucker says:

    Looks like Michael Chiarello suffers from the same chronic condition that Robert Irving suffers from. Wearing shirts two sizes to small!!

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