Chili Cook Off Raises Funds for Police Families

Being behind bars never looked so good! Hey, it was for a great cause, the 4th annual Lorain County Blue Chili Cook-off fundraiser.

Being behind bars never looked so good! Hey, it was for a great cause, the 4th annual Lorain County Blue Chili Cook-off fundraiser.

The 4th annual Pete Soto Chili Cook-Off at Lorain County Community College was a great night for a great cause Sat., Feb. 8.

Hosted at LCCC’s Spitzer Hall and Culinary Arts Center, the event brought close to a thousand hungry supporters to the college for some of the best chili around, all cooked up by Lorain County law enforcement officers.

The annual event is held to honor Pete Soto, a former Avon Police Department officer who retired in 2010 after fighting back from critical injuries in the line of duty.

Organizer Chris Barton of the Avon Police Dept. thanked LCCC and the community for its support of the Lorain County Blue Foundation, a nonprofit organization that assists families of officers critically injured in the line of duty.

The 4th annual Pete Soto Chili Cook Off to support Lorain County Blue Foundation was highlighted by a stirring performance from the Pipes & Drums of the Cleveland Police at LCCC.

The 4th annual Pete Soto Chili Cook Off to support Lorain County Blue Foundation was highlighted by a stirring performance from the Pipes & Drums of the Cleveland Police at LCCC.

“This event wouldn’t be what it is today without our wonderful volunteers and cookers who worked to make it all possible,” said Barton. The idea for the fundraiser was established a few years ago as supporters looked for a way to assist Soto in his time of need.

Support for the event was epitomized by Christopher Carmon Jr., an entrepreneurial 7th grader from Holy Trinity School in Avon. He was brought to the stage by Barton and other officials in recognition of his gift of $1200 from his company, Topher Joe Promotions, LLC.

Topher Joe Promotions is a specialty promotional company offering the quality, Made in the USA soft mints. Topher Joe offers a variety of soft mints in custom printed wrappers sporting company logos to showcase businesses as promotional gifts.

Avon Lake Police served up some of the best chili at the Pete Soto fundraiser. A great night for a great cause.

Avon Lake Police served up some of the best chili at the Pete Soto fundraiser. A great night for a great cause.

Christopher’s business, Topher Joe Promotions LLC, donates 50 percent of its proceeds to the Lorain County Blue Foundation.

“I donate to the police officers because I feel that they are some of the most important people in our community.  This is why I donate to Loco Blue,” said Christopher. Christopher plans to go to St. Edward High School and likes to drum, write and play CYO sports as hobbies.” His business, which he started at age 12, has sold to more than 36 companies.

His gift to LoCo Blue was one of many highlight of the evening, a special night for a special cause. Thank you to all who came out to support The Lorain County Blue Foundation.

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