Will County Children’s Advocacy Center looking for men who know their way around the kitchen for cooking competition

JOLIET – The Will County Children’s Advocacy Center this year has cooked up an entirely new event to raise funding necessary to fulfill its critical mission of protecting our children.

The Children’s Advocacy Center is asking men in the community to don their chef’s hats and prepare their favorite dishes for the upcoming “Men Who Cook” fund raiser from 6-8 p.m. March 21 at Republic Hall, 113 Republic in Joliet.

“Men Who Cook” will be a casual event featuring local men who prepare and offer up for judging bite-sized samples of their favorite dishes. Tim Reilly, owner of Babe’s Hot Dogs, will emcee the competition.

If you’re a guy who can do more in the kitchen than warm up frozen fish sticks in the microwave, then put your favorite homemade entree, side dish, appetizer or dessert up for consideration. The Children’s Advocacy Center also is looking for local businesses and organizations to sponsor “Men Who Cook.”

The center, which was established by Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow in 1995 to improve the way child sexual abuse cases are investigated, has more than a dozen spaces open for male cooks with a competitive streak.

“The Children’s Advocacy Center deals daily with the serious problems of child abuse,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “This year’s “Men Who Cook” competition offers everyone a chance to have some fun while they support an important cause.” 

The center’s staff performs child-sensitive interviews when there are allegations of sexual or severe physical abuse. These interviews are conducted by trained and caring professionals in a non-suggestive, child-friendly environment. The children’s recorded statements have been used in the successful prosecution of hundreds of sexual predators.

The state’s attorney founded the center as a 501-c-3 non-profit organization so it would not impact Will County taxpayers. As a result, the center has relied on grants, foundations and fund raisers like “Men Who Cook” to operate.

The cost to taste bite-sized samples of fine cuisine at “Men Who Cook” is $35 per person; $60 per couple.

Local men who will put their culinary skills to the test include: Detective Sgt. Tom Quillman of the Joliet Police Department; newly minted County Auditor Duffy Blackburn; Detective Dave Margliano of the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office; Jim McFarland of the Joliet Exchange Club; and Steve Larranga of Joliet Litho Print.

Organizations that already have agreed to sponsor the event include IBEW Local 176, Northern Illinois Steel, the Joliet Exchange Club, T.J. Lambrecht Construction and City Beverage.

For details on participating as a cook or a sponsorship, please call the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center at (815) 774-4565. Or you can visit the center on the Web at www.willcountychildadvocacy.com.