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Hot Monkey’s BIG Chili Cook-Off to raise money for cystic fibrosis research

By Staff | Aug 24, 2018

2017 winners with Patti Simmons (Chair) Left to right: L.D. Shipley (3rd place, tied), Patti Simmons, Rivers Jenkins (1st place), Trinsy Stone (2nd place), and Larry Shipley (3nd place, tied). Submitted photo.

SHEPHERDSTOWN — According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Patient Registry, about 1,000 Americans are diagnosed with cystic fibrosis every year. Although no cure has been found for cystic fibrosis, many cystic fibrosis patients have experienced improvements in their quality of life in the last few years, thanks to research and medication developments.

For Patty Simmons, of Shepherdstown, her granddaughter’s cystic fibrosis medication has helped her to live a normal life, making it possible for her to go away to college at WVU. But long before that medication was developed, Simmons and her family had been doing their best to raise money for cystic fibrosis research.

“It’s people helping people, and it has already proven to have helped my granddaughter,” Simmons said about their fundraising. “Since we have started our charity, we have been able to see our little ‘cure in a bottle’ come out — she’s doing so well from having this medicine. It’s our reward for hard work.”

Although the family has been involved in a variety of cystic fibrosis fundraisers over the years, they have had the most success raising money through their annual chili cook-off. Hot Monkey’s BIG Chili Cook-Off is set to be held for the 16th year in a row this year at the Train Station on Sept. 1, from 1-4 p.m.

As in years’ past, the fundraiser will feature about 20 varieties of chili to be voted on, as well as a bake sale, cake auction and drinks. And, once again, all of the event’s proceeds will be donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

“This is a big community event, a lot of people come from around the Eastern Panhandle and Frederick to help us raise money for cystic fibrosis research,” Simmons said. “It’s a very nice event, and the community can come together and support a good cause.”

According to Simmons, chili cook-off entry registrations will be accepted through Aug. 29. The first place winner will receive a trophy and dinner for two at the Bavarian Inn. Second and third place winners will receive medals, and all entries will receive a commemorative t-shirt, which chili tasters can also buy at the event.

The chili entries, which must be in crock pots, will be marked for tasters by a monkey whose color symbolizes its heat — mild, medium or hot — which is where the event’s “Hot Monkey” title was derived from.

At the end of the cook-off, tasters and contestants can expect to leave with a satisfied appetite and the knowledge their donations will go to an important cause.

“The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation directs a large percentage of its donations — 85 percent to 90 percent — to cystic fibrosis research,” Simmons said. “People want to give, because they all know it goes to research.

“It makes us feel so good, to be able to do something to help people with her disease. We are part of the cure,” Simmons said. “Together, we can make ‘CF’ stand for ‘cure found.'”

To find out more, visit teamfaith.homestead.com/chili.html or call Simmons at 304-707-0115 or 240-217-4178.