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50 Men Cooked. 300 People Ate. 350 People Prevented Suicide.

They cooked. We ate. And we all prevented suicide. An amazing night was had by all! Check out the video.

Since November 2011, I have been jumping up and down, waving my arms like a mad woman, yelling about 50 Men Who Cook. A fundraiser for Suicide Prevention Services of America. I think I may have lost a few Facebook friends due to my frequent posts about the event (said with a smile). It's an event and an organization I am passionate about.

Suicide Prevention Services of America, also known as SPS, is . There are only 7 agencies like SPS in the entire country. SPS provides training for an 24-hour phone crisis line, training to the public (individuals, teachers, doctors, firemen, police officers), counseling, depression screening, and more. Its reach extends far beyond Batavia to communities including Yorkville, Oswego, Montgomery, Wheaton, Naperville, Lisle, Geneva, St. Charles, Woodridge, and Elmhurst.

My mom, Stephanie Weber, founded the organization. She is the Executive Director. My family is committed to preventing suicide.

According to my mom, there are an average of 5 people a week walking in the door to SPS needing help. The numbers are increasing with the state of the world today.

The funds from 50 Men Who Cook go directly to SPS, a non-profit organization. The funds are used to sustain programs in the schools, provide counseling to families who would otherwise not be able to afford it, and provide training to the community to prevent suicide.

50 Men Who Cooked featured men from all walks of life: Chefs, Editors, Fathers, Brothers, Friends, Mayors, and more. Mayor Gary Golinski of Yorkville and Mayor George Pradel of Naperville were among the cooks at the event this year. In addition, Kurt Becker, 1985 Superbowl Champion Chicago Bear Football Player, also cooked. Jillian Duchnowski, Editor of the Yorkville Patch, and Charles Menchaca, Editor of the Batavia Patch, made chocolate mustaches. The mustaches were a great delight for the guests.  

The event was a huge success. Bill Tarver, lead chairperson for the event, had mentioned the event being similar to planning a wedding. That to review it after in pictures was going to reveal its success. It was definitely successful.

Cooks were awarded in different categories for the popularity of their dishes. Among the winners were Chris Kline, a professional Chef for Sara Lee. Chris won in his category and also as the best overall dish for the evening.

A HUGE thank you to all who cooked, attended, volunteered, and more. Without events like this, SPS would cease to exist.

Donations can be made to SPS by clicking here. SPS is a non-profit organization.

Please join us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/spsfv

Save the date for next year. Interested in cooking next year? We are beginning to recruit cooks for 2013. Please email: info@spsamerica.org

Thank you to ALL.

Truly, Jen Slepicka, SPS Event photographer.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jen Slepicka March 26, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Dear Logansdad, thanks for the kind words and supporting SPS. Hope your day is great. :) Truly, Jen
Linda Kemp March 26, 2012 at 06:03 PM
This is awesome! Kudos to you Jen for being so passionate about such a great cause. A few kind words to someone in a state of anxiety can save a life--a life of a person meant to do great things! I look forward to attending next year!
Brandy March 27, 2012 at 10:12 PM
I had the BEST time ever doing this with my son! Next year you can count on us cooking again and bringing others with to cook! Jen you are amazing and have a heart of gold. Thank you for giving me the honor to be a part of it.
Bill Harding March 27, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Fun, light hearted, juicy, motion, music, choices! Wow! What a show. Suicide Prevention Services let's the good times roll ! Thanks to all who offered us fun !
Holy Moly!!! April 04, 2012 at 11:42 AM
50 men cooked; 300 people ate....at first glance, this title brings about a disturbing visualization.

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