Hot Monkey’s BIG Chili Cook-Off raises almost $5,000 for cystic fibrosis research
SHEPHERDSTOWN — After kicking off her junior year as an elementary education major at WVU, Faith Stone was excited to once again man the baked goods table at the 16th annual Hot Monkey’s BIG Chili Cook-Off at the Train Station on Saturday afternoon.
As one of the members of Team Faith, Faith helps with the event every year, to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s research initiatives. For Faith, raising money through this and other Team Faith events are a way for her to give back to the foundation that has made it possible for her to reach adulthood and live an active life despite her cystic fibrosis, thanks to the foundation’s recent drug developments.
“I’m fortunate enough to be healthy and have my medication. I started Kalydecko when I was in seventh grade, so I’ve been on it going on eight years now,” Faith said, mentioning the drug made it possible for her to participate in cross country, track and girl’s basketball throughout her high school career.
According to Faith, being involved in athletic programs has paid off for her, in both a financial and physical health sense. Along with help from a PROMISE scholarship and a West Virginia University Presidential Scholarship, Faith is paying off her college bills with the $10,000 Exercise for Life Scholarship from the Boomer Esiason Foundation. Faith won the cystic fibrosis scholarship over 90 other applicants, after making it through three vetting levels — an application submission, a phone interview and a timed mile-and-a-half race against the other top applicant.
Faith’s mother, Trinsy Stone, of Martinsburg, is proud of her daughter for winning the race. Many people with cystic fibrosis have to limit their level of physical activity, due to the way the disease affects the lungs.
“Sometimes, if they have a serious disease progression, their lung air ways close and they struggle with being physically active,” Trinsy said, mentioning that, along with the new medications and research developed by CFF, her daughter’s ability to be physically active may be the result of early detection of the disease.
According to Trinsy, doctors detected Faith’s cystic fibrosis before she was born, allowing Trinsy and her family time to research and prepare to help Faith deal with the disease.
“She was born in Johns Hopkins — we’re very fortunate to live now, with all the medical advances,” Trinsy said, mentioning her daughter has to maintain a strict morning regimen to protect her health and has to take 40-60 pills a day.
As the chili cook-off competition came to a close at the end of the afternoon, votes were tallied up, and, for the second year in a row, Trinsy won second place with her “Sweet T’s Sassy Chili.” This year, she tied with her husband, and lost to family friend and Hedgesville High School sophomore Trinity Shipley, who made a white chili out of a family pot roast recipe, with the addition of corn and beans.
“I switched it up this year, and did a white chili,” Shipley said, mentioning people may have appreciated that her chili’s heat was milder than in previous years. “I kind of knew that I wanted to try doing it. I made it for dinner on Wednesday, and everybody liked it, so I decided to do it.”
Third place went to last year’s first place winner, Rivers Jenkins, who has also benefited from CFF’s research as a person with cystic fibrosis.
In all, $4,729 was raised through the event. According to CFF Senior Development Director Suzanne Nolan, Team Faith’s chili cook-off has raised a large amount of money for CFF over the years.
“I’m here to support the Stone family and their efforts to raise money for cystic fibrosis research. They’ve probably raised close to $100,000 with this chili cook-off over the years, because this event involves sponsors, a bake sale, raffles and the chili cook-off,” Nolan said.
To learn more, visit www.cff.org/.