Chili Cook-Off Gets Wheaton Fired Up for Education in Africa
Wheaton – On Saturday, November 10, life-long Wheaton resident David Loiacono and his wife Stephanie held their First Annual Chili Cook-Off for a Cause, raising over $800 to benefit Link Community Development USA. Link Community Development (Link, for short) is an international nonprofit organization working with governments and communities to transform the quality of education system-wide in sub-Saharan Africa.
Some fifty guests from Wheaton, Chicago, and surrounding suburbs filled the Loiacono household this weekend, fifteen with their favorite chili in tow. Both the dining room and kitchen tables were covered in crock-pots as chili connoisseurs filled tasting cups in the hopes of finding their new favorite recipe. Guests voted for their favorite chili with $1, $5, and even $20 bills. Lisa Pile, Aurora resident and Labor and Delivery Nurse at Central Dupage Hospital, earned the most votes and the grand prize- a wine-tasting for 10 at Tasting deVine. Angela Bendinelli said of the event: “I’m so happy to support Link USA, because I want every child to have the opportunity to achieve all that they hope for. The Chili Cook-Off was a fun way to make an impact!”
Jessica Loiacono, David and Stephanie’s oldest daughter, first realized the urgency of Link’s mission after working in Senegal and Uganda and now advocates for these principles as Project Manager for Link USA. While the impact of Link’s work is international, its US staff is anchored here in Chicago. The Chicago team – called Link USA – works closely with its international partners to identify and implement innovative US-based education initiatives in its African partner countries: South Africa, Ethiopia, Ghana, Uganda, and Malawi.
If you missed the event last weekend, there are still many immediate – and local – ways to invest your time and passion for education. This Thursday, November 15 Link USA will host a party at Holland and Knight LLP in Chicago to celebrate its Annual Appeal, which kicked off November 1. To attend or contribute to this event, please visit chicagokickoff.eventbrite.com
For other ways to get involved, visit www.lcdinternational.org/get-involved. Whichever way you choose, whether with your financial support, advocacy, or volunteer service, Link USA invites you to join us and invest in education.