provided to The Santiva Chronicle
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The 4th Annual Lee County Chili Challenge, presented by Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz and Stu’s Motorcycles, featured some spicy competition to support organizations for veterans at Stu’s Motorcycles on Jan. 28.
The event raised $12,519, and Southwest Florida Professional Fire Fighters Union Local 1826 donated $1,500. The money was distributed to Tunnel to Towers Foundation, Injured Warriors Fund of Florida and Collier-Lee Honor Flight.
Lee County Public Safety EMS unseated two-year chili champion Fort Myers Fire Department in the judged competition, and Sanibel Fire Rescue District won the People’s Choice vote.
“Thank you to everyone who attended, shared and supported our event this year and in years past,” said event founder Jason Dysarczyk, a battalion chief with the South Trail Fire & Rescue District, who served as a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps. “We will continue to grow and make this event bigger and better every year.”
The 5th Annual Lee County Chili Challenge has been set for Feb. 3, 2024.
Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz returned for a second year as a presenting sponsor. The event started with a color guard, invocation, the national anthem and music by Southwest Florida Guns & Hoses Pipes ‘N Drums and Deep Cover. Mission BBQ Director of Operations Adam Palladino, and Mission BBQ donated the testing kits for the event.
Participating chili teams included Fort Myers Fire Department; South Trail Fire & Rescue District; Sanibel Fire & Rescue District; South Trail Fire District Benevolent Association; Lee County EMS; Operation Iraqi Freedom 20th Anniversary Marine Corps Veterans; Paul E. Ison Marine Corps League Detachment; Pattenburg Volunteer Fire Department from Asbury, N.J.; Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association; Southwest Florida Gunslingers, and a Retired FDNY Firefighters Team representing the Tunnel to Tower Foundation.