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Charity chili festival Saturday at VFW Post 8463

By Staff | Apr 7, 2011

A charity chili festival, featuring 20 different local recipes, will be held Saturday to help raise funds for a Cape Coral resident who has cystic fibrosis.
Sara Steinhauer, 26, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis after she had a sweat test done during a doctor’s checkup when she was 6 weeks old due to losing weight while having a healthy appetite.
The disease causes a thick, sticky mucus to form in an individuals lungs that blocks the airways and can clog pathways that lead to the digestive system in the pancreas, along with affecting other organs.
At age 5, Steinhauer had her first surgical procedure done to implant a feeding tube and a port line in her chest for medical needs. She then received a double lung transplant in 2009, which her body later rejected in 2010. Her second transplant was done in September 2010 with only one lung.
“Even through all of that, Sara still remains one of the most caring, loving, giving and beautiful individuals anyone has ever met,” her father Bob Steinhauer said in a biography he wrote. “Her love of her family, friends, pets and many others is remarkable. Her strength, perseverance and fight are amazing to know and observe. She is, without a doubt, the hero in my life, will always be and has been an inspiration to countless others.”
Carl Adams said since he has been a chef for the past 20 years he suggested having a chili festival to raise money for Sara and her family.
“All the proceeds go to Sara and the family to defer their medical expenses,” Adams said.
Jodi Johnson said they want to raise money to help the family pay for some of their medical bills.
After the VFW members shared their ideas on what the fund-raiser should entail, local businesses and restaurants got on board to help the cause. Adams said a couple different restaurants and members from local VFW posts will be participating in the chili festival.
“We all decided it would be a good charitable event,” he said.
The competitors with the best chili recipe will receive prize awards for first, second and third place.
In addition to chili, the festival will also feature hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries and corn dogs, along with water and soda.
Refreshments will be served inside of the VFW and outside under a tent in the parking lot.
Johnson said the festival will also have a bounce house, obstacle course, dunk tank and live music during the event.
A Chinese auction will also be held during the event with donated items from local businesses and restaurants. There will also be live music.
Adams said the festival is a great way to bring a “whole bunch of people” together for a good cause.
He said everyone is donating their time and energy for the charitable event so they can help the Steinhauer’s.
Johnson said anyone who can donate can offer $3, adding that it can also be a group donation for a family with kids.
She said the family is planning on attending the festival today.