Mt. Vernon Register-News

November 26, 2012

Men Cooking for CASA to be held


MT. VERNON — — The male chefs of Jefferson County will once again strap on their aprons and thinking caps for a good cause.

After a successful inaugural event, Court Appointed Special Advocates of Jefferson County will host its second annual Men Cooking for CASA event Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013.

A cash bar will open at 5:30 p.m. at the Mt. Vernon Holiday Inn, with the Parade of Chefs at 6:15 p.m., followed by a live auction at 7:30 p.m. There will also be a silent auction.

“There’s no other event like this in Jefferson County,” said CASA of Jefferson County Executive Director Becky Whisenant. “We’re looking forward to the same attendance and success as last year.”

The event was modeled off a fundraiser in Carbondale, she said.

All of the champions from last year’s event, Richard Straeter, Dan Knox, Doug Hester and Ryan Swan, will return, she said.

There are already several new chefs signed up this year, she said.

“It’s the same concept,” she said. “For one ticket price, you can sample up to 50 different recipes. The people pick the winners based on their tips.”

Each ticket buyer will also receive a free cookbook with most of the recipes from the event compiled inside, Whisenant said.

The first Men Cooking for CASA event raised more than $20,000 for the non-profit organization, she said.

“That’s the most CASA has ever made from a fundraiser, and we’re super excited about this,” she said.

Chefs are encouraged to decorate their booths and dress up. Last year, there were 37 chefs and about 250 attendees.

The deadline for chefs and sponsors to sign up is Dec. 20, in order to get all recipes and advertising into the cookbook, Whisenant said.

Tickets will be available from the CASA of Jefferson County or chefs up until the event begins.

Court Appointed Special Advocates empowers volunteers to be a voice for a child in the juvenile court system, Whisenant said.

“They stand up for abused and neglected children,” she said. “We have 25 advocates right now, and 54 children covered. That’s about half of the kids that need an advocate in Jefferson County.”

CASA volunteers are officers of the court, appointed by a judge to represent the best interest of an abused or neglected child in court proceedings, information states.

Advocates gather information for the court, and recommends to the judge what the child needs to be safe and what is in the child’s best interest for a safe, nurturing and permanent home.

For more information about the second annual Men Cooking for CASA event, or tickets, call 204-5453.