Its the Pits Cookers 2020

In addition we found a local Veteran living in Pecan Grove, James Scallan, that we were able to help out by giving him a check for $8000. The money will help to relocate him and his family and to help provide for a good Christmas. James has one son and two daughters. James did two tours in Iraq and suffers from PTSD.

Despite the invasion of Covid-19 in 2020,Its the Pits was still able to help out 7 students in Fort Bend's FFA program, which we do each and every year. We gave out $1000 scholarships to all of them. Although all of our fundraising events were canceled, some of our sponsors were still able to donate to the cause which allowed us to continue our mission.

Living Life with Half A Heart


William Rey Gutierrez’s Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) journey with Hypo Plastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS)



What is a CHD?  The word “congenital” means existing at birth.  A congenital heart defect is a problem with the structure of the heart and is the most common type of birth defect. 1 out of 100 babies are born every day with a CHD.  There are multiple CHDs with a number of complex cardiac conditions with variations in the heart structure, but William Rey’s CHD fight is against Hypo Plastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS).

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) is a rare severe congenital heart defect in which the left side of the heart is underdeveloped. In a normal heart , the heart's left side has the job of pumping oxygenated blood into the aorta, the large artery that carries blood back to the body. In William Rey’s case of HLHS he is battling on four fronts:


  1. Bottom left ventricle (the lower, pumping chamber of the heart) did not completely develop. It is almost non-existent.
  2. Mitral valve atresia – the valve that separates the two left chambers of the heart from the top and bottom, is completely closed (atretic) because his mitral valve never developed.
  3. Aortic valve atresia – the valve that separates the left ventricle and the aorta, is underdeveloped and too small.
  4. Ventricle Septal Defect - he has a hole in the wall of his heart between his bottom right ventricle and the tiny bottom left ventricle that does exist.


William Rey’s fight and journey started in utero on July 22, 2019, during a 20-week anatomy scan where his heart defect was first noticed and diagnosed. That day the HLHS diagnosis was life changing. A decision was made regarding our unborn baby boy’s future. We instantly knew we would give him a fighting chance. William Rey was born on December 3, 2019 and has already endured the 1st of a series of 3 open heart surgeries at just 3 days of life (12/6/19). The 3 open heart surgeries will allow the surgeon to completely reroute the anatomy of his heart, allowing blood flow to bypass the left side of his heart that does not exist. His will to live, strength and resilience after his 1st open heart surgery has helped him surpass all odds and he is alive and fighting! He surprised his cardiac team with his recovery and while most HLHS babies remain hospitalized until after their 2nd open heart surgery, William Rey’s progress convinced his doctors that he could thrive at home and was released after 7½ weeks in Texas Children’s Hospitals CVICU/PICU. He is doing well, but already in preparation for his next open-heart surgery scheduled for March 12, 2020. At that time, he will only be 3½ months old. His 3rd open heart surgery will follow sometime between the ages of 3-5 years old.


Although his heart is mended, there is no cure and his heart can never be completely fixed. His journey is life long and his cardiac health will forever be unknown. With every beat of his heart, every day of his life is literally a blessing.


William Rey is the grandson of a member of “It’s the Pits Cookers,” Ft. Bend County’s only Charity Bar-B-Que Team. “It’s The Pits” swung into action and held a brisket sale fundraiser to assist the family with medical expenses. Over $17,000 was raised by Super Bowl Sunday! William Rey is his family and our team’s little MIRACLE! We share his story as inspiration and hope for all!


“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)


Family contact Info:

Simon & Delores Gutierrez

2035 Hampton Breeze Lane

Richmond, TX 77469

(713) 855-8221

It’s The Pits Cookers is the ONLY Bar-B-Que team at the Fort Bend County fair dedicated primarily to charity ― seeking to make a difference in the lives of 4-H and FFA youth and, in addition, supporting our wounded veterans who have put their lives on the line for us and for America.


We hope and pray that you will consider joining the growing number of quality Ft. Bend County businesses that partner with us in this effort. By increasing the participation of caring business people, the numbers of youth and soldiers assisted in our effort will continue to grow! In these times, as you well know, the needs are many. It is our prayer that you will join us in making a difference!


It's the Pits Cookers have partnered with Joy Lutheran Church and all of your donations are tax deductible as we are a 501C3 charity.


© It's the Pits Cookers 2004-2016

P.O. BOX 1336

Richmond, TX 77406


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