North Carolina Chili Cook-off to Benefit Epilepsy Medication Fund

May 9, 2007

Dana Plocheck, the current Terlingua International Chili Champion of the Chili Appreciation Society International (CASI), will lend her cooking expertise to the 17th annual Jim Crawford Memorial CASI State Championship Chili Cook-off on May 12 at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market. A competitive chili cook since 1988, Plocheck cooks under the banner of “Lady Bug” chili. When asked the secret to her winning recipe, Dana credits “a couple of tablespoons of Mexene chili powder and a large dose of Lady Bug Luck.”

Over 50 CASI cooks from the area and surrounding states are expected to attend this year’s event, which will also feature freestyle, juniors and restaurant/fire department cooking categories. The cook-off is a fundraiser for the Epilepsy Medication Fund.

“Medication assistance has been documented to be one of the top needs of persons with epilepsy in our state,” said Pat Wheeler of High Point, N.C., president of the Epilepsy Foundation. Epilepsy affects one in 50 children, one in 100 adults. It can be an expensive disorder for those who do not have insurance. Most seizures respond well to seizure medication but this medicine can be expensive.”

The cost of the medication covered by the Epilepsy Medication Fund last year ranged from $612 to $2,565 per patient per month, according to Patricia Gibson, director of the Epilepsy Information Service at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and founder of the fund.

“We are committed to seeing that no one goes without medicine due to lack of funds,” Gibson said.

The event will feature live entertainment including Josh Thompson and his band from Clemmons; Mel Melton, a zydeco artist from Gastonia; Veronica Jones of Reidsville; Mary Teaster from Marion, Virginia; and Dr. Martin Childers and his son, Charlie, from Winston Salem. There will also be a bake sale, children’s games and face painting.

For more information, call the Epilepsy Information Service at 1-800-642-0500.

About Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center: Wake Forest Baptist is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine. The system comprises 1,298 acute care, psychiatric, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and is consistently ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report.


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