The Phoenix Reporter and Item (

Phoenixville Chili Taste Off raises money fro Alzheimers

By Phoenix Reporter & Item Staff

Monday, January 27, 2014

About 80 people came out to taste 11 different types of chili last Sunday at Joe’s All American Pub & Restaurant in Phoenixville.

The restaurant hosted Dogwood Queen Rachel Miller’s Chili Taste Off from 1 to 4 p.m. Jan. 19, which raised money for Alzheimer’s awareness.

“I thought a fun event like this would be a great way to raise money for my platform — Alzheimer’s,” Miller said. “My grandmother was victim to Alzheimer’s and after seeing how it had manipulated her mind, I was motivated to bring more awareness to this horrible disease.”

Miller said she decided that as Dogwood Queen, she wanted to reach out to the community in a more impactful way than just appearing in parades and putting smiles on faces. She said she wants to use the advantages of her title to make a difference in her community and the world. That, as well as her personal experience with Alzheimer’s, led her to create the Chili Taste Off.

The cook-off was divided into two categories, hot and mild, with a winner being chosen in each category as well as an overall champion.

Paula Lantrip won the mild category with her vegetarian chili and Mark Carkhuff won the hot category. The title of Chili Champion went to Patti Tucker, who took home a chili pepper trophy for winning.

The Taste Off also featured a 50/50 and a raffle for a variety of mystery gift certificates donated by local businesses.

Miller said she exceeded her goal of $1,000, raising a total of $1,528. She wanted to thank her parents, Jim and Marybeth, the staff at Joe’s and all the contestents for helping to make the event a success. She also thanked Keith, Tami and Chloe Wickstrom for making the trophies.

“All in all, it was a day well spent with many wonderful people,” Miller said. “It was amazing to hear how many people’s families that came have been or are being affected by Alzheimer’s.”