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Harper Cancer Research Institute holds annual chili cook-off

| Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Harper Cancer Research Institute (HCRI) hosted its annual Chili Cook-off on Wednesday to raise money supporting research conducted by the HCRI. The entrance fee of $10 gave participants unlimited taste tests as well as 10 votes towards the best chili.

Angela Cavalieri, external relations and special events program coordinator at the HCRI, said she was enthusiastic about the event and its ethos.

“The Chili Cook-off has become a favorite … every penny of every dollar raised goes to support research at the Harper Cancer Research Institute,” she said. “A lot of people don’t realize how much world class research happens right here at Harper.”

This lack of awareness is something the Chili Cook-off is aiming to change.


Joseph Clark | The Observer
Khoa Huynh, a Chili Cook-off participant and member of the HCRI, prepares his “Chipotle Adobo” Chili.

Contestants in the cook-off ranged from students to advocacy groups around the local community. One such participant from Smoke Free St. Joe, Karl Nichols, was advocating his organization’s goal of “reducing the burden of tobacco in our community and increasing quality of life for all.” His chili fit the theme, which he described as being “Smoke Chili, not tobacco.”

Participants of the cook-off included Khoa Huynh, research program manager at the HCRI, who made a chili using “chipotle adobo sauce” for his first time participating in the event.

“We do a lot of fundraisers here,” he said. “This is a very fun, light-hearted event, but most importantly the entrance fee goes straight to research here.”   

One of the most loyal participants of the cook-off also included the Notre Dame Fire Department. Captain Robert Brown, a representative and participant in the cook-off, spoke of the importance of the event to the department.

“We try to get involved with a lot of things on campus,” he said, “I have been on the department for 20 years, and for 10 years we have participated in chili cook-offs in one aspect or another”.

Natalie Weber | The Observer
The Notre Dame Fire Department, featured above, also competed in the Chili Cook-off. The firefighters have participated in the annual event for approximately a decade.

Another huge part of the event, according to Cavalieri, was bringing people in the local community together and raising awareness for what the HCRI does.

“We have local cancer advocacy groups participating, to people living down the street,” she said, “It is always fun trying to guess the secret ingredients used by some of the masters. We have had some interesting ingredients over the years … It brings people together, because who doesn’t love chili?”

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About Joseph Clark

Joseph is a Junior studying for a year abroad at the University of Notre Dame. Living in Dagenham, East London for most of his life, Joseph is incredibly excited for his American adventure.

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