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. Bette Fincher says:

    Awesome show..You truly are from God with all that you did and gave to Joplin. God bless you for all you do and the lives you just changed!

  2. Toni Adair says:

    How do I get
    the recipe for the vegetable dressing and pasta.

  3. Jessica says:

    Robert-
    This was the most moving episode me and my family have seen on your show! My brother in-law and sister in-law lost there home in that storm and would have lost theirs and their children's lives had they been home. These were hands down the most deserving people you could have worked with! There are so many people out there in this time in our country that could use this up lift that I hope you do more like this, getting more companies like Lexus involved! Congratulations Robert and keep up the beautiful work!

  4. Im glad to see these episodes and to see the old cast of Dinner Impossible. Chef Michael is awesome and this was a great episode. Keep up the show, doing great things

  5. Jason P says:

    Thanks Robert! Using the money for a non for profit group is amazing. I lived on the East Coast in the Army and I live and am from Missouri, Hurricanes you know for days they are coming, Tornadoes you only have a split second of survival. Thanks again Robert and Food Network!

  6. Maxine says:

    This was a wonderful show. Such a pleasure to watch. I wish you would do more of this type of show. I always enjoy when you redo community places like this for schools, homeless, boys and girls clubs etc. It gets a bit tough to watch some restaurants with owners without a clue and all your efforts go down the tubes afterwards. This is so much more positive and the results seem to be more lasting. This is like a fresh drink of water. (The owners that do listen are good to watch.) Thank you and your teams very much for all your love and hard work.

  7. Carol says:

    I drove through Joplin just a few months after the tornado. It was shear devastation. I'm so glad to see Robert help a very deserving organization.

  8. M Chiarello says:

    Robert! Great chef doing great work! Happy I. Could help out
    M Chiarello

    • Richard says:

      It was great to see you pitch in, Chef. God bless you, and God bless Robert, Cheryl, tom, and everyone else for your loving charity to a deserving organization. Merry Christmas!

  9. Melissa Devlin says:

    This was a very touching show..I hope to see more shows like this in the future….! GREAT JOB MR. ROBERT ….

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