Celebrating their love for food, Brad Anderson and Seth Udell create FHC Burger Club

The all too wondrous sensation of tearing into a fresh-off-the-grill, juicy burger is thoroughly loved by practically everyone. That first bite of a decadent patty, combined with the perfect blend of melted cheese and crisp veggies- all pulled together with a fluffy bun- is irresistible for meat-lovers.

That certainly holds true for teacher and coach Brad Anderson. As a result, for years, Anderson has dwelled on the idea of establishing a club for fellow burger-lovers to unite.

“Years ago, on a wrestling road trip, a group of wrestlers and I came up with this idea out of our love for burgers and food,” Anderson said. “We were talking about their favorite burger places, and I said, “we should start a burger club.a�� The guys all said, “yeah, we should.a�� That was a couple years ago, and I’m a busy guy, and kids graduate, so nothing really materialized.”

As the years went by, Anderson continually brought up the concept of a burger club. But about a year ago, Anderson was met with more than the usual interest.

“One student in particular, [junior] Seth Udell, really jumped on the idea,” Anderson said. “I said, “hey Seth, you organize it, figure out a schedule, and I’ll be the club sponsor.a��”

Seth saw no reason not to seize the opportunity.

“[Anderson] was just saying, “think about this. A club, after season, you go [and] just get burgers,a��” Seth said. “I was like, “that sounds delicious; that sounds like an amazing thing.a��”

In short, the combination of Seth and Anderson’s appreciation for burgers and determination to create a club to bring burger-lovers together culminated in the establishment of the FHC Burger Club. After this year’s wrestling season, the duo began putting things into motion, getting the club through administration, and spreading the word.

Leading up to the first meeting, which was this past Friday after the half day, about twenty students were already signed up, and kids were thoroughly excited.

“Everybody who’s going really wants to,” Seth said, “and really thinks it’s going to be fun. I have had people going up to me and saying, “oh this is such a great idea, I can’t wait for it.a��”

At that first meeting, the Burger Club ventured out to the well-known restaurant, Five Guys. There, as they will at every meeting to follow, they took a vote after indulging in some burgers. This vote is held in order to determine whether that particular restaurant is deserving of the FHC Burger Club’s seal of approval.

“If the burger is up to the FHC Burger Club standard of excellence,” Anderson said, “that particular restaurant will get our sticker and logo. They can put it on their door, or they can put it in the trash– I don’t care. But they will know that they are FHC Burger Club approved.”

Indeed, the food is the centerpiece of the club, but Anderson sees a plethora of other positive aspects of the burger club.

“One of my values as an educator is fellowship or community,” Anderson said. “I’m always looking for ways for people to connecta�� If the burger club is one more way that thirty students can come together in a positive setting, interact, and have fun, that’s fellowship, and that’s community. Those are memories that they’re building that are positive memories of FHC and their classmates.”

More than just the friendship element, Anderson is also hopeful that this will enforce good manners and the support of local businesses.

“I hope [the burger club participants] gain an appreciation for patronizing local business,” Anderson said. “I hope that they go in, and they interact with the owners and operators of these businesses’ One of the things that I’m going to talk to them about is conducting themselves like gentlemen and ladies when they go in these restaurants– please and thank you, using etiquette, using proper inside voices, interacting with the local community, and representing FHC, hopefully, in a positive manner.”

Seth, too, is excited to support and sample the food of local restaurants.

“There’s just a lot of really good burgers in Grand Rapids that not many people know of, and we’re just trying to get the word out on those,” Seth said. “… You tend to see a lot of really good food at the local businesses because they’re not these big corporations.”

Seth specifically has the challenge of taking on a leadership position within the club as the captain.

“[I’m] very excited [about the leadership aspect],” Seth said. “… It’s always nerve-wracking trying to organize something, but I’m excited because a lot of people are showing a lot of enthusiasm for it.”

Already, through the process of establishing the club, Seth has proved himself as a capable leader and organizer.

“Giving students a leadership role,” Anderson said, “and encouraging [Seth] to do something like that– it [has been] a great experience for him, because now he has [had] to go through the operational process of forming a club. And he did. He got it done, and now we’re an entity.”

Presently, as the FHC Burger Club has only met once, both Anderson and Seth are eager for the continual success of the brand new club. As Seth said, they hope the club will get to a point where “businesses come to [them].” And, of course, any new participants are wholly welcome to join and enjoy the friendship and mutual love for food that comes with the club.

“It’s a way for students to meet after school to enjoy camaraderie, fellowship, and their love for juicy burgers,” Anderson said.