For most of us, Christmas morning is spent wrapped up in cozy pajamas in front of a lit Christmas tree as we watch our kids tear through wrapping paper while squealing with delight over all of the gifts they've received.

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Think about how much your heart swells when you see the smile on the faces of your kids and how you chuckle when they pop on boots over their pajamas to run outside to test out a new toy. Now, think about the child who doesn't have a parent able to give them anything for Christmas. Think about the child who doesn't have their parents in their lives.

Pastor Lyle Ward of Willet was an incredible man who raised hundreds of Binghamton area foster children, adopting seven of those children as his own. Ward's passion for fostering and taking in kids who had nowhere else to go trickled down through his family and has grown into something very special.

Curtis Hammond, grandson of Ward told me that his family adopted four of his siblings out of foster care, which is why the yearly Lyle Ward Memorial Chicken BBQ holds extra special meaning to Hammon.

Each June, the Lyle Ward Memorial BBQ is held by the Punishers LEMC Rescue Chapter to raise funds to help give Christmas to abused and neglected kids in Broome and Tioga counties because every child deserves to experience the magic of Christmas.

Additional money raised through the Lyle Ward Memorial BBQ is used by the Punishers LEMC Rescue Chapter to give school supplies to foster children, to help veterans who are in need, and to support area families who are struggling.

This year, the Lyle Ward Memorial BBQ will be held on Saturday, June 26, at Lowes on Upper Front Street in Binghamton. BBQ will be provided by Brooks BBQ beginning at 11:00 a.m.

This year, the Punishers LEMC Rescue Chapter will be able to accept credit cards for meal purchases.  Additionally, meals can be purchased in advance here. $12 includes a half chicken, baked potato, coleslaw, roll, oatmeal cream cookie, and a bottle of water. $8 includes a half chicken only.

If you aren't able to attend the BBQ on June 26 but would like to make a donation toward the mission of the Punishers LEMC Rescue Chapter, you can do that by scrolling all the way to the bottom of this website.

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