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Tickets Now Available for Local Chili Cook-Off for Make-A-Wish

The Kickoff Cookoff is the brainchild of Naperville residents Matt and Judy Schnell, who have raised more than $100,000 for Make-A-Wish Illinois through various events since 2008.

Submitted by Chili Kickoff Cookoff For Make-A-Wish

The Chili Kickoff Cookoff For Make-A-Wish is back for its second year, and this time, it’s looking to run up the score.

The football-themed charity event that features a chili competition, live music, a silent auction and raffle prizes will be held September 21, from noon to 5 p.m. at Nevin’s Brewing Company, 12337 South Route 59, in Plainfield.

The Kickoff Cookoff will feature the best chili creations of chefs from local restaurants, as well as from skilled home cooks. Elliott Bambrough, co-host of WGN’s “Chicago’s Best,” will serve as the event’s master of ceremonies.

The Kickoff Cookoff is the brainchild of Naperville residents Matt and Judy Schnell, who have raised more than $100,000 for Make-A-Wish Illinois through various events since 2008. Last year’s inaugural Kickoff Cookoff on Nevin’s Brewing Company’s outdoor patio attracted nearly 350 attendees and raised more than $21,000, which was used to grant the wishes of three deserving kids.

This year, however, the Schnells and their team of volunteers want to shatter those marks and double the number of wishes granted.

“We’re so far ahead of where we were in 2013,” Matt Schnell says. “We’ve already blown past our sponsorship goal, and our committee raised more than $5,500 from friends, family and business associates in May alone. We’ve already collected enough money to fund three wishes, and ticket sales are just getting started. And we have so much more room to work with this year because Nevin’s has graciously given us the whole restaurant for our event.”

Make-A-Wish grants wishes for kids with life-threatening medical conditions for one reason: They make life better. That guiding principle has rallied people all over the United States to grant a life-changing wish every 38 minutes. Make-A-Wish Illinois recently granted its 12,000th wish.

For a full list of participating restaurants and judges, to purchase tickets for the event, to make a donation or to read about all the wishes the Schnells have helped grant, visit www.chilikickoffcookoff.com. To learn more about Make-A-Wish Illinois, visit www.illinois.wish.org.

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