What do the following have in common? Battle plans have been drawn under a gathering of officers. Political futures have been waged in back rooms. Wars have been averted in tepees and on decks of rolling ships. New born babies have been celebrated in lobbies. And many poker hands have fallen to lady luck on display at the card table—all over a communal cigar. Within those rising, swirling blue contrails of tobacco combustion are thoughtful reflections, pained decision-making or a release of tension where nothing matters but the sound of ocean waves, or the awed silence at the sight of a meteor streaking across the heavens. A good cigar can help one settle down to discover the meaning of things. According to business owner Colleen Murphy, that’s why it is important, to attend the Summertime Charity Cookout—a benefit for a national, but little-known non-profit called “Operation: Cigars for Warriors (CFW). The event will be held Saturday, July 27, from 12-noon to 4 p.m., at HogsHead Cigars and Fine Tobaccos, on 301 Schiller Street.
Barbecue king Dwayne “Tiny” Kramer will be grilling the burgers and brats.
“My son is in the Navy, so this [activity] is important to us, as well as [paying tribute] to my customers that are serving or veterans,” said Colleen.
Founded in 2012, by two former servicemen, CFW has been sending premium cigars, smoking accessories and items such as coffee and magazines, to U.S. service members deployed overseas in combat zones and those serving long-term deployments worldwide since 2012.
The troops have to request the cigars and the group sent out more than 92,000 cigars the first year. In 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration declared that cigar manufacturers couldn’t donate cigars to troops, placing the cigar industry under the 2009 Child Protection Act.
CFW had to create donation centers where retailers and consumers donate money or cigars to send to troops. Hermann’s own Hogshead Cigars and Fine Tobaccos serves the non-profit in this capacity. There is a cigar humidor on the corner of the bar where patrons can purchase a cigar and place it in the humidor. When the humidor is filled, they will ship it to a drop-off point in Fla. that is managed by CFW. Colleen says the humidor is kept at 70 degrees F and at 70 percent humidity so they arrive in perfect condition for the troops.
“The camaraderie of smoking a cigar together is important because it makes [the servicemen and women] take some time out,” says Colleen.
She says it only takes seven minutes to smoke a cigarette, so there’s more bonding than the long-lasting smoke of a good cigar.
While a Padron No. 1 Maduro, a Punch Double Corona or a Macanudo would make a nice gift for someone’s evening smoke, Colleen says the servicemen and women appreciate anything.
“There’s no particular cigar—they’re just glad to get them.”
Call 573-486-2035 for more information about the cookout and Operation: Cigars for Warriors.