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Charity Cook Off Heats Up

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From left: Lance LoRusso, Judge Reuben Green, BG Randall Simmons, MG Tom Carden, and Cobb public safety officials.

The first-ever “Bring the Heat Cook Off/Red White & Boots” event will take place Nov. 14.

By Jennifer Morrell

Things are heating up as fall temperatures begin to drop, and all of Cobb County is eagerly awaiting the inaugural “Bring the Heat Cook Off/Red White & Boots” event on November 14 in the Jim R. Miller Park Pavilion. Hosting the event are the Georgia National Guard Family Support Foundation, The Rotary Clubs of Cobb County, and Mending Heroes. Proceeds will benefit the Georgia National Guard Family Support Foundation, Cobb County Public Safety Foundation, and the Veterans Court of Cobb County/Bravo/Victor Fund.

Twelve teams will compete in the “Charity Cook Off,” cooking their “favorite chicken” recipe, including three Georgia National Guard teams (Army, Air and State Defense Force), the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office, Cobb County 911, Cobb County Police and Fire Departments, the Cobb County Solicitors Office, Marietta Police and Fire, the Kennesaw Police, and Metro Atlanta Ambulance.

“We are excited to introduce the First Annual Bring the Heat/Red White & Boots Cook Off charity event to support our military, veterans, and public safety,” said Nancy Couch, board member for the Georgia National Guard Family Support Foundation. “I am the proud daughter of a Navy veteran, proud sister of two Army veteran brothers, and the proud aunt of a full-time Georgia National Guardsman.” Couch said that, although she never served in the military, working with the foundation allows her to give back by supporting our military and veterans.

“We wanted to create a fun event for the community to join us in cheering on their favorite cook off team,” she said. “They’ll get to hear great music, and meet television and film star Lucas Till of ‘MacGyver’ and ‘X-Men.’ Mark Bloom, former Atlanta United professional soccer player, also will be in attendance to raise money for three great foundations.”

Special guests Till and Bloom are both natives to Cobb County. Till attended Kell High School, and Bloom attended Lassiter High School. Other notable guests include Tom Carden, Georgia adjutant general; Randall Simmons, commanding general with the Georgia Army National Guard; and Lance LoRusso, head of the Cobb County Public Safety Foundation. They will be joined by Jonathan Cobb,  McDonough, Georgia native and current NFC Lightweight Champion.

“As the president of the self-funded, non-profit, 501(c)(3) Georgia National Guard Family Foundation, we are honored to host the Bring the Heat/Red White & Blue Charity Cook Off event,” Simmons said. “Our foundation has helped more than 4,000 soldiers and airmen, while providing more than $2.9 million in emergency assistance. We are excited to partner with the Bravo/Victor Fund to support our veterans, and the Cobb Public Safety Foundation to support our police, fire and first responders.”

Simmons said the event is a great way to bring the community together for our military, veterans, and public safety officials.

“The Cobb County Public Safety Foundation supports police officers, deputy sheriffs, and firefighters as well as EMS and E911 professionals,” said LoRusso with the Cobb Public Safety Foundation Inc. “They do this by providing relief in times of personal struggles, equipment needed to keep us all safe, support to conquer the demands of their jobs, and training to advance their skills. They always are there for us, standing ready to risk their lives for strangers. We stand with them.”

Celebrity Cook Off judges include former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes, Cobb County D.A. Joyette Holmes, Cobb County Chamber of Commerce CEO Sharon Mason, Jonathan Cobb, Chef Tom McEachern, KSU Chef Brian Jones, and Georgia First Lady Mrs. Marty Kemp. Area favorite and popular emcee, John Loud, will kick off the event.

The teams will be cooking off to win the “Bragging Trophy” and $1,000 for First Place, which will go to their favorite charity. Representatives from the event’s top sponsors will vote for their favorite chicken among the 12 cook off teams, naming a “Sponsor Winner.”

Attendees can wear their best dancing boots and enjoy the live entertainment of the “Sons ‘N Britches” band. Barbecue and fixings will abound, and static displays from Military Recruitment, Public Safety, and the Patriot Guard Riders will be set for viewing as well.

Tickets can be purchased by visiting bringtheheatcharitycookoff.org.