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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Twenty bucks goes a long way at annual Greater Cleveland Chili Cook-off for Autism

Posted By on Wed, Mar 26, 2008 at 7:23 AM

It’s spring, and food-related fundraisers are popping up like croci. Many, like Fool’s Frolic, a fundraiser for Shoes and Clothes for Kids (6:30 – 9:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 1 at Beachwood’s Moxie), are classy, dress-up affairs, where first-rate food, an open bar, and live entertainment will set you back at least $100. But others are more casual, the kind of laid-back evenings where guests can enjoy the best of both worlds: Stuffing their faces on homey grub while still tossing some bones toward The Greater Good. ... After three years as a volunteer judge, I can assure you that the upcoming Greater Cleveland Chili Cook-off for Autism falls squarely in that second category – a fun, relaxed, “bring the kids and come as you are” alternative, with a very reasonable $20 price tag -- a bargain compared to most other fundraisers. This year’s event is scheduled for Tuesday April 8, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Terrace Club at Progressive Field, and will probably be bigger than ever. According to chef-organizer Brian Doyle (World’s Fare Culinary), as many as 1,000 participants are expected this year – a far cry from 2005, when a mere two or three-hundred hungry souls crowded into a tasting room at Great Lakes Brewing Company to see what the fuss was all about. But then, such is the power of a big bowl o’ red. In return for your $20 donation (which goes straight to the Autism Society of Greater Cleveland), you’ll have a chance to sample dozens of deliciously different chilies – red, white, and green; turkey, beef, and vegetarian; sweet, mellow, and melt your socks off – all while digging live music, vying for door prizes, and bidding on gift certificates and autographed sports items in a silent auction. For advance tix, visit the Society’s website; or get the check in the mail at P.O. Box 41066 Brecksville, OH 44141. Tickets will also be available at the door. Hope to see you there. --- Elaine T. Cicora Read Elaine Cicora's restaurant reviews, food news, and comprehensive dining guide on the restaurant page at

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