CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - One-hundred men cooked up more than $50,000 for local charities benefiting children, and the victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
The annual Chef Clash at SIU Arena on Saturday, June 3 brought together a range of culinary talents from novice to expert to raise funds for The Women's Center and the Boys & Girls Club of Carbondale.
Recipes ranged from pudding spiked with liquor to Caribbean jerk-spiced hot wings.
"All the men have donated their time, and their food for this event," said organizer Diane Hood. "You come in and for your ticket price you can sample all the food that's in this arena tonight. The best part of tonight is that the money raised goes toward The Women's Center and the Boys & Girls Club."
Ticket sales and proceeds from the live and silent auction raised a grand total of $50,353 which will be split equally between the two charities.
"We are just trying our best to raise as much money as we can tonight," said Hood. "It would just be drop in the bucket compared to what the state owes them, but we have got to keep the doors open. Both organizations do such wonderful work in the community and we don't need to let them close."
Illinois' ongoing budget impasse made the need for raising funds at the event all the more urgent.
"The Women's Center needs money more than anything," said Domestic Violence program coordinator Andrea Stephens with The Women's Center. "Just for our program in particular the state owes us about $230,000. We also have the sexual assault programs which they owe us another $200,000 for that, so there's about $500,000 we've spent out of our own pocket. If we don't get funding soon – we've already started layoffs, and we'll do more furlough days, and soon it'll affect our services."
The 100 chefs were volunteers from local businesses, banks, SIU athletics, and veteran's organizations.