Catasauqua Press

Thursday, November 23, 2017
PRESS PHOTOS BY PAUL CMILNix, Nicki and Ricki Thee take a few scoops of chili and enjoy an adult beverage at Fossil’s Last Stand, Catasauqua, during its annual chili cook-off fundraiser Nov. 4. PRESS PHOTOS BY PAUL CMILNix, Nicki and Ricki Thee take a few scoops of chili and enjoy an adult beverage at Fossil’s Last Stand, Catasauqua, during its annual chili cook-off fundraiser Nov. 4.
Laura Rupp, Kathy Yialamas and Melanie Canty, volunteers with Feline Urban Rescue and Rehab, dole out chili samples to participants. Laura Rupp, Kathy Yialamas and Melanie Canty, volunteers with Feline Urban Rescue and Rehab, dole out chili samples to participants.
Carol Simoncic grabs her last chili sample from Danielle Stahley and Sarah Donnelly. Carol Simoncic grabs her last chili sample from Danielle Stahley and Sarah Donnelly.

Cooking chili for a cause

Wednesday, November 8, 2017 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

Proceeds from Fossil’s Last Stand fundraiser benefit animal rescue groups

Fossil’s Last Stand, 429 Race St., Catasauqua, held its fifth annual chili cook-off Nov. 4. The cook-off is held every year as a fundraiser for Peaceable Kingdom, Whitehall, and Feline Urban Rescue and Rehab (FURR), New Jersey.

“We do a chowder fest in the spring to benefit these groups,” said Jackie Harford, who is the face of Fossil’s.

The cook-off increases in popularity every year, she said.

“This year, we had 27 entries in the contest,” Harford said.

Anyone who enters gets a Fossil’s koozie and a special key chain. The first-place winner gets $100; second place, $50; and third, $25.

Everyone who joins in the cook-off tasting donates $5 and attempts to try as many types of chili as they can for three hours. Along with your donation are three tickets you use to vote for your three favorite concoctions.

“Everything is anonymous. The dishes are numbered, and no one knows who made the dish,” Harford said.

Although a little sleuthing could reveal some of the cooks, the chili receiving the most tickets wins.

To answer the ultimate question — the third-place winner was Nicholas Bechtel; second place, Arlana Corrocher; and first place, Michael Muller, also known as “Kiffle.”

The beneficiaries of all this goodness, Peaceable Kingdom and FURR, were happy with the turnout.

“This is (just) one of our fundraisers. Our next event is Nov. 12 at Riegel Ridge Community Center in Milford, N.J.,” said Laura Rupp, FURR’s treasurer.

FURR placed more than 300 felines in adopted homes and had another 350-plus in its Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) program so far this year.

“Everyone [who] works here is a volunteer,” Rupp said. “Our biggest expense is the vet and food bills.”

Rupp estimates FURR caters to more than 1,000 animals every year.

Fossil’s had a drawing for gift prizes donated by sponsors. One unique item, invented locally by Gus Yialamas, is called Phone Tagg. The magnetic strip allows you to hang your cellphone on a hook like a retail tag.

Yialamas gave three of them away during the Fossil’s event.

“It’s great when you hang it from the mirror of the car; you can see who is calling or follow GPS (directions) without taking your eyes off the road,” he said.

Phone Taggs are available on Amazon for $25 or at the Fix at Lehigh Valley Mall.