Photo courtesy of Matthew Wood.

Woodrow Wilson High School is unveiling its trailer smoker today, a gift from the Exchange Club of East Dallas.

The club supports neighborhood schools and each year provides them a set amount of funds to be spent on items Dallas ISD doesn’t cover. Schools also submit wish lists for more expensive items, and the club picks one to grant.

Last year, Woodrow requested a trailer smoker as its wish list item, but the club’s large donation went to another school.

After that, a few of the club members were talking and realized if they could find a good-quality used smoker, the school could benefit from it.

They found one. The father of board member Eric Kraft had three competition smokers and agreed to donate one to the club. Then Clay Drury, another board member and a Woodrow alumnus, offered to fix up the smoker at Like-Nu Auto Paint & Body Works. It needed some sandblasting and new paint.

Club member Matt Wood says the custom-built smoker can accommodate plenty of food at once. It has two bay doors and a flat cooking area so burgers and hotdogs can be on the grill while other meat is smoking.

Wood also says a few of the Exchange Club members are hobbyist smokers and are going to teach some of the Woodrow staff how to use the equipment.

Principal Mike Moran says the smoker will help build community and raise additional funds. The school plans to use it tonight at the “Welcome to Woodrow” event, an open house for prospective students. In the future, Moran says it can be used at any of the performances, like the annual musical, senior events, sporting events and more.

Plus, there’s an opportunity to create a UIL competition barbecue team.

In the past, Woodrow has received TV monitors and furniture from the Exchange Club, which also sponsors Woodrow Fest.

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