tv & movies

Watch: MN dad gets Father’s Day surprise from Al Roker and Today

Al Roker is bringing the Today show on tour to spend time with some deserving dads ahead of Father’s Day. And this week it brought him to Stillwater.

He was there to surprise Mike Pooler, who is not only a devoted father-of-two but also a huge barbecue fan. He competes in grill contests with his brothers, and his wife Julie calls him the “Mad Griller.”

It was Julie who nominated her husband for the Today visit, and his love of grilling is important – because joining Roker in Mike’s yard was none other than celebrity chef and pitmaster Myron Mixon.

Together, they barbecued some beef ribs before the hosts presented him with a special gift – a new smoker from Mixon’s own line. Here’s a photo from Pooler’s Facebook.

Myron Mixon (left, in black) presents Mike Pooler (right, in the apron) with his new smoker. Credit: Mike Pooler, Facebook

The gifts didn’t stop there either, as Roker revealed the show would be sending the Pooler family down to Orlando for three days at Universal Studios – a trip mainly for Mike’s son Daniel, who has autism and is a big fan of Minions.

You can watch Pooler’s appearance on Today here:

Family trying to get bakery off the ground

As an aside to the Today show visit, the Pooler family have a GoFundMe fundraising drive going. Julie Pooler is trying to launch a new bakery business that will also provide work-study classes for local special needs students.

The idea is 13 years in the making, when Julie started baking cookies to sell at Christmas when her son Daniel was just 3 years old, as a way of raising money to buy him specialized equipment.

Her efforts had to increase as the years went on, as it became apparent that Daniel was particularly fond of computer animation – a rather expensive endeavor. And the popularity of her baking led her to the idea of turning it into a year-round business that she could operate alongside Daniel, who requires 24/7 supervision.

Their fundraising page has raised more than $2,300 in the past month, but is still some way from its $25,000 goal. You can read more about their efforts here.

GoMN

choose your channel