Boots, Burgers & Bikes benefits Big Brothers/Big Sisters

OKEECHOBEE — Okeechobee area residents and visitors gathered at the C. Scott Driver Recreation Area on State Road 78 on Aug. 24 for the Boots, Burgers and Bikes event to raise money for Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

Local restaurants provided hamburgers for the participants to sample, and a chance to vote for their favorite burger.

The “best burger” award went to the John Boy & Billy BBQ Bacon Burger served up by the Hwy 55 team. The burger was topped with American cheese, mustard, chili, bacon, a crispy onion ring and tangy John Boy and Billy’s Grillin’ Sauce. The restaurant chain, which has been in business more than 30 years, opened a franchise in Okeechobee earlier this year. Local franchise holders, siblings Rachel and Philip Buxton, have made Hwy 55 a part of Okeechobee.

Rachel and Philip Buxton

Hwy 55 had some tough competition for the award.

The Okeechobee Livestock Market served their trademark hamburgers, known for their high quality beef. The patties — fresh, never frozen — are cooked on a flat top grill, dressed with fresh produce and a signature sauce and served up on a toasted bun. The restaurant was originally opened to feed the buyers and sellers on market days, but soon became popular with local residents and visitors. In addition to the sale days (Monday and Tuesday) the restaurant is now open on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Flavored Fork catering company from Fort Pierce served up brisket and short-rib burgers as sliders, topped with bourbon bacon, habañero sauce and smoked gouda, topped with a green olive. The catering company is an active supporter of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program.

The Big Brothers/Big Sisters program currently serves 183 children in Okeechobee County. More volunteer “Bigs” are always needed. If you would like to help, contact Cristina Paniagua at or call Big Brothers/Big Sisters of St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee counties at 772-466-8535.

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