By Jerrilyn Zavada, firstname.lastname@example.org, 815-673-6371
Streator Unlimited's seventh annual Food for Thought this Sunday, Nov. 5, will be headlined by a Mac and Cheese Cookoff and a Starved Rock Country Gift Card Extravaganza.
Organizers are hoping to exceed last year's proceeds of $23,500. Proceeds from the event help to fund the sheltered workshop, which was formerly funded by a state grant that was cut. Forty-two people work in the workshop doing such jobs as packaging, janitorial, labeling, painting, among others.
"It is also a stepping stone into community employment," said Stephanie Harcharik of Streator Unlimited. "If they have no work experience and they want to work in the community, they can get their skills here."
Those that work in the workshop cannot also live in a group home, so they either live on their own or with family members.
The event is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 5, at the Streator High School commons, 202 W. Lincoln Ave., and the cook off will feature eight chefs and five judges, including Natalie Bomke of Fox 32 Chicago. There will be judges awards and a People's Choice Award.
Featured Mac and Cheese Chefs include Lori Mahan, Sal Guerrero, Beau Boyles, Andrea Zadkovich, Boom! Dinner's Ready, Larry Finney, Mike Buchanan and the Dream Machines Car Club.
Featured judges include Bomke, David Giuliani of The Times, Beau Doty, Steve Biroschik and Will Roach.
Attendees can sample all eight mac and cheese dishes for $5.
The Giftcard Extravaganza will feature gift cards from around Starved Rock Country, valued at more than $2,000, plus a Coach purse. Tickets are $5 each.
The event also will feature more than 60 vendors, a quilt raffle and door prizes.
Want to go?
What: Streator Unlimited Food for Thought fundraiser When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 5 Where: Streator High School commons, 202 W. Lincoln Ave.