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Fill ‘er up: Restaurants to raise funds for local woman’s cancer treatments

By Staff | Feb 28, 2020

SHEPHERDSTOWN — Two years ago, local resident Erica Bailey was diagnosed with a Neuroendocrine tumor, which is also known as NET cancer. As a healthy young entrepreneur, running her painting business, Eureka, the diagnosis was completely unexpected.

Bailey’s cancer treatments began soon after her diagnosis, and forced her to close her business. The cost of her treatments has become financially overwhelming for her and her partner.

Bailey’s partner, Emmett Keller, has worked in a number of restaurants in town, and so a number of the local restaurants have decided to give back to him, by hosting a chili cook-off to raise funds to cover her treatments and their living expenses.

“Things have gotten real rough and really tight, and she needs our support,” said Maria’s Taqueria owner Maria Allen on Monday. “The minute we heard that she and Emmett needed help, it was game on.

“I think it is really neat for all of the restaurants to work together,” Allen said. “A lot of people think we are all in competition with each other, but the fact is we need each other and we need to support all of the people who live here.”

The fundraiser will be held today at Maria’s Taqueria, Lellybelle Community Cafe, Betty’s Restaurant, The Green Pineapple, Bistro 112, The Devonshire Arms Cafe and Pub, the Mecklenburg Inn and Town Run Tap House and Community Pub. The restaurants will be selling signature chilis during their normal business hours, which can then be voted on, on Facebook. All of the proceeds from the chili will be donated to Bailey.

“The chilis are made by the chefs at each restaurant, and it will be just voting on which is the best all-around chili. Lellybelle is doing a vegetarian chili, and the Devonshire is doing a vegan chili, I think,” Allen said. “We’re going to be doing a Chorizo Black Bean Corn Chili, which we do as a special every now and then.

“Some locations will also have drink specials that a portion of the purchase will add to the donations,” Allen said, mentioning the chili tasting tour is intended to end at the Mecklenburg Inn. “We hope that everybody goes around and tries all the chilis, and then goes to the Mecklenburg to hear Beatrix Whalen perform and support Erica that way.”

The cover charges for Whalen’s performance, from 9 p.m. to midnight, will be donated to Bailey, and a 50/50 raffle will also be held at the Mecklenburg that evening, the proceeds of which will also be donated to her.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/events/487057365314162/.