PHOENIXVILLE - Are you a man that likes to cook or make a special dish?

Phoenixville Area Positive Alternatives is hosting a cooking competition from 7 p.m. to midnight on Sept. 20 at Franklin Commons.

The organization held the event in 2007 and 2008. Event chair Dolores 'Dolly' Winston said the event raised $11,000 the first year and $7,700 the second year. Winston said the goal is to raise an amount in between those numbers this year. The proceeds benefit PAPA's after- school tutoring programs for Phoenixville students that begin in October. The program for elementary students is 'New Directions' and the program for middle school students is 'Fast Forward.'

'We are looking for men who are good cooks, bakers or like to barbecue to share a special dish,' Winston said.

She said chefs from local restaurants are also welcome to participate.

Attendees will receive ballots upon arrival that will allow them to rate the chefs. The winner of the competition will receive a cash prize.

'We're so excited for the opportunity to do this,' she said, adding that the event will bring people together for a good cause. 'We want to give kids the support they need.

She said although the flyer mentions 'An Evening in Black and White,' that doesn't mean men have to rent tuxes. Attendees are invited to wear black pants and white shirts. Winston said she wanted people to steer clear of wearing blue jeans.

PAPA Executive Director Alexis Boswell said the event is a good way for people to advertise their businesses at their booths and provides opportunity for people to network.

In addition to the cooking competition, attendees can enjoy a silent auction and dancing.

Winston said she was inspired to bring the event back after Phoenixville Community Health Foundation President and CEO Dr. Louis J. Beccaria mentioned to her how it was a good community event.

Beccaria is one of the competitors in this year's competition. He said he's not someone that likes to cook all of the time, but makes a dish on occasion.

He said he will be making Pasta Luigi which features fettucini with marinara sauce, sauteed mushrooms, peppers, chicken strips and lots of parmesan cheese.

'It went over really big (at the last event),' Beccaria said.

He said the cooking event is a 'unique fundraising event' and a 'great way to support PAPA.'

The past events attracted a diverse crowd, Beccaria said.

Students from Valley Forge Christian College and Phoenixville Area High School as well as other community members help tutor children during PAPA's after school programs. Phoenixville Area School District refers students that need the extra help.

Winston said PAPA is looking for retired teachers that want to volunteer one or two days a week for the programs.

PAPA partnered with Phoenixville Community Education Foundation to help students in need this summer during the Summer Activities For Enrichment program at Barkley Elementary School. Students that needed extra help with school lessons were identified by the school district and parents also asked if they could register their children. PASD worked with some children during the program and PAPA worked with the children that registered for the program. Boswell said PAPA hosted reading programs, math games and other activities that helped children with key early education concepts. The children participating in SAFE were given meals and taken on field trips for free thanks to the support of PCEF.

Men interested in signing up to compete in the event can call 484-995-7770, 610-933-7517 or 610-983-4110. PAPA's email is PAPA19460@gmail.com.

Tickets for the event can be purchased at the Phoenixville Recreation Department, 123 Main St., Phoenixville, or PAPA office, 400 Franklin Ave., Suite 224, Phoenixville.

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