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Second annual Boots & BBQ Barn Bash kicks off at Camp Grace; Event Benefits Pediatric Rheumatology Clinic
MOBILE – The second annual Boots & BBQ Barn Bash kicks off on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015, to benefit pediatric rheumatology patients. Guests are invited to enjoy an evening of live music and barbecue at Camp Grace, located at 11081 Wanda Drive.

Festivities start at 6:30 p.m., with live music from Ashton Shepherd. Guests are encouraged to wear their best pair of cowboy boots and enjoy s’mores, hayrides and a bonfire. Moe’s Original Bar B Que will provide its award-winning barbecue and sides for dinner.

The Boots & BBQ Barn Bash is presented by Children’s of Alabama and Rheum4yAL, an advocacy group that works with children across Alabama suffering from juvenile arthritis. This year’s event honors Mitchell Hughey of Mobile.

Mary Carlton Johnson of Mobile was the inspiration behind the inaugural event. Johnson, who is now 7 years old, was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis at the age of 2. She continues to receive frequent injections to manage her pain until her arthritis reaches a dormant phase.

Proceeds from the Boots & BBQ Barn Bash will provide funding for a pediatric rheumatologist from Children’s of Alabama to hold clinic in Mobile to treat the many children along the Gulf Coast suffering from autoimmune disorders. Children with juvenile arthritis, autoimmune disorders and other rheumatologic conditions now have improved access to expert care as the result of a partnership between the University of South Alabama (USA) Department of Pediatrics, Children’s of Alabama and the University of Alabama School of Medicine (UASOM) Department of Pediatrics.

Pediatric rheumatologist Melissa Mannion, M.D., M.S.P.H., began seeing patients in June in the USA Pediatric Specialty Clinic, located at 1504 Springhill Avenue. The clinic is held every other month on the third or fourth Friday of the month. Dr. Mannion is an instructor in the UASOM Department of Pediatrics’ Division of Pediatric Rheumatology and treats patients at Children’s of Alabama in Birmingham.

Alabama has two specialty pediatric hospitals dedicated to the care of its youngest patients - Children’s of Alabama and USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital in Mobile. As academic health centers, USA and UAB have clinical faculty who provide unique specialty care to pediatric patients, train the next generation of pediatric specialists and explore new ways to advance medical treatments.

For more information or to register online, visit or “Boots & BBQ Barn Bash” on Facebook. Admission is $60 per person and $500 per table. For sponsorship information, contact Kerrie Benson, the Gulf Coast coordinator for Children’s of Alabama, at

The Pediatric Rheumatology Clinic at Children’s of Alabama is the second largest arthritis care center in the state, and diagnoses and treats children with autoimmune disorders including juvenile arthritis, lupus, myositis, scleroderma, and various vasculitides. Clinical research aims to optimize the treatment of juvenile arthritis through diverse projects and depends on fundraisers like the Boots & BBQ Barn Bash to make this possible.

Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children across the state and throughout the southeastern U.S. since 1911. Children’s offers inpatient and outpatient services across its Russell Campus on Birmingham’s historic Southside with additional outpatient surgery and diagnostic imaging services provided at Children’s South and Children’s on 3rd. Primary care is provided at more than a dozen offices in communities across central and north Alabama. The Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children is the only hospital in Alabama dedicated solely to the care and treatment of children and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet-designated hospital for excellence in nursing care. For the past three years, Children’s has been ranked among the best children’s hospital programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. It is a private, not-for-profit hospital that serves as the primary site of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) pediatric medicine, surgery, research and residency programs. Last year, patients made more than 634,000 outpatient and nearly 14,000 inpatient visits to Children’s from every county in Alabama and from 47 other states. More information is available at