Church to hold chili cook-off to benefit child’s lung transplant

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 7, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

On Dec. 10, locals will be able to warm up from winter’s frigidity at the Suffolk Christian Church at 216 North Main Street. In doing so, they’ll be able to help out an 11-year-old girl, one that’s fighting a tougher battle than anyone should ever be forced into.

Starting at 6 p.m., the church will be holding a chili cook off and silent auction to raise money for Emily Haley, who is in need of a double-lung transplant after being diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children, and tickets will be available at the door.

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Firefighters from Chesapeake and Suffolk will bring their culinary creations for sampling, as will 13 other individuals. Patrons will be able to taste all of the offerings, and donate money to their favorite. All donations are tax-deductible.

At the same time, visitors will be able to bid on several items donated by businesses from around the area. Tickets for the Washing Redskins-Minnesota Vikings football game on Jan. 2 will be available, as well as dinner and lodging at the Smithfield Inn. Nansemond River and Suffolk golf courses will offer a round, and Curves for Women will give away free membership. The Chorale Concert donated tickets, and a local auto shop will give away a year’s worth of free oil changes – and that’s just a small section of the list of prizes.

&uot;People have been extremely generous,&uot; said Barbara Espinosa, who is helping to organize the event. Espinosa got to know Emily and the Haleys while teaching art at the Suffolk Academy for Godly Education at Westminster Reformed Presbyterian Church. &uot;We thought that we’d just have a few crafts to auction off, but it’s just been blossoming.

&uot;As soon as (Emily’s mother) Ruth told me that she had to raise half a million for the transplant,&uot; Espinosa said, &uot;I thought about what I would do, and I think that’s what people are doing – what would they do if Emily was their daughter?&uot;

For more information, contact the church at 539-9182 or visit Emily’s Web site at