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Ft. Myers firm hosts Fourth Annual Lee County Chili Challenge

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Annual event challenges first responder and military chili teams and raises money for veteran and first responder organizations

Chili Challenge logo 2023The Fourth Annual Lee County Chili Challenge, presented by Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz and Stu’s Motorcycles, will tickle the taste buds January 28 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Stu’s Motorcycles on Ben C. Pratt/Six Mile Cypress Parkway in Ft. Myers.

The Lee County Chili Challenge brings together fire, EMS, police, and military chili cookers to raise money for the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, Injured Warriors Fund of Florida, and Collier-Lee Honor Flight.

“While the Chili Challenge event is fun, it’s all about awareness of these organizations,” said founder Jason Dysarczyk.

For a $10 donation, visitors get a chili testing kit to sample various chilis. Tickets for over $7,000 in prize drawings, beverages, and food are all available for a donation.

Dysarczyk is a battalion chief with the South Trail Fire & Rescue District and served as a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps. Several years ago, he thought that Stu’s Motorcycles, which is in the jurisdiction of the department, would be a great place to have a chili competition to benefit organizations that help first responders and veterans.

Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz returns for a second year as a presenting sponsor.

“Our firm regularly supports veterans’ organizations,” said Christopher J. Smith, managing partner of the firm. “We participate in bike nights and promote motorcycle safety, so it’s a privilege to be able to help this event grow at Stu’s Motorcycles.”

Beneficiaries of the event are:

  • Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which honors the sacrifice of firefighter Stephen Sillier, who died on September 11, by providing mortgage-free homes to Gold Star and fallen first responder families with young children and by building custom smart homes for catastrophically injured veterans and first responders.
  • The Injured Warriors Fund, which was created by the Marine Corps League Dept. of Florida to help warriors injured in combat in Iraq, Afghanistan and areas of terrorism.
  • Collier-Lee Honor Flight transports veterans free of charge to Washington, D.C. to visit memorials dedicated to honor their service and sacrifices.

At last year’s event, $10,653 was raised for the organizations. The Ft. Myers Fire Department won first place and the People’s Choice trophy.

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