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Cook-off raises $5K for cystic fibrosis research

September 05, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. -- Hundreds of people jammed into the Shepherdstown Train Station on Saturday to eat chili for a good cause.

Patti Simmons, chairwoman of the Hot Monkey BIG Chili Cook-Off, said the fundraiser has been held for the last seven years to help find a cure for cystic fibrosis.

Simmons said her 11-year-old granddaughter, Shepherdstown resident Faith Stone, was diagnosed with the disease shortly before birth.

"The whole community comes out and supports us," Simmons said. "It's lots of fun. We've had positive results."

Simmons said the event raised about $1,200 during its inaugural year in 2003. The cook-off netted a little more than $5,000 on Saturday, she said.

Twenty-one chili makers entered the contest for a chance to win bragging rights and a shot at one of three prizes, which included an overnight stay at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore and a $200 gift certificate to Dutch's Daughter restaurant in Frederick, Md.

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People paid $8 each for the right to sample the chili and cast their votes.

Sherrie Stone, Faith's great-aunt, said her entries have gone seven years without a victory.

She conceded her mild recipe doesn't fare well against the spicier ones.

"I don't come to win," said Stone, of Falls Church, Va. "I come to raise money for a cure and research."

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States. The disease causes the body to produce unusually thick mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening infections.

Faith, who sold apples, cupcakes and T-shirts at the event, said she lives a fairly normal life because she has been able to stay healthy.

"I think the (cook-off) is great," Faith said. "Everyone comes out and we have fun."

Chili lover Pam Mills, of Harpers Ferry, W.Va., agreed.

"It's a good cause and they always have a good turnout," Mills said. "It's a good way to raise money."

Cook-Off winners



The following were the winners at Saturday's Hot Monkey BIG Chili Cook-Off the Shepherdstown (W.Va.) Train Station.

o First place -- Fallon Stone

o Second place -- Bob Moore

o Third place -- Sheila Castaldo

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