NIANTIC, Conn. – Niantic teen Matthew Benway will host an afternoon of food and fun, cook-off style, to benefit the National MS Society on Saturday, May 31, at Grace Episcopal Church in Old Saybrook.
Benway, 16, has organized the 2014 Chili Cook-Off for a Cure, which will offer a variety of recipes contributed by friends and family. Guests will judge and record their favorite recipes on scorecards provided to participants with their tray of samples. Cornbread and refreshments will accompany the chili.
“I just want to help people living with MS like my mom,” said Benway, a junior at East Lyme High School. “All I want is to find a cure. I thought this event would be a good way to do what I can to join the fight against MS while having fun.”
Benway was inspired to organize his first event upon learning about Do It Yourself Fundraising through MS Connection, a quarterly newsletter distributed by the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, to all chapter members living with MS.
“When I was first diagnosed it was a really scary experience for my children,” said Benway’s mother, Jennifer, who was diagnosed with MS 12 years ago. “I am thrilled Matthew has taken the initiative to turn this into something positive and get involved. I want him to feel good about doing something for a cause he is passionate about. I am so grateful that all three of my sons have such a strong desire to help people. They will never regret giving. It is incredible to see how responsive and supportive my family and community have been in organizing this event.”
More than 6,000 Connecticut residents, like Jennifer Benway, live with multiple sclerosis, a potentially debilitating disease affecting the central nervous system. The cause is unknown, and there is currently no cure. The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot be predicted.
Benway’s 2014 Cook-Off for a Cure will take place on Saturday, May 31, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Grace Episcopal Church, located at 336 Main Street, in Old Saybrook. To participate, a $15 donation is suggested at the door. For more information or to signup for 2014 Cook-Off for a Cure, please e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org or call, (860)739-4948. For more information about multiple sclerosis, the many ways to help make a difference or for assistance in planning and publicizing a DIY Fundraising event to benefit MS, visit www.ctfightsMS.org.