Cookin’ For The Kids

A fundraising event for kids!

A look into Hopkins Countys groundbreaking charity event.

Kelly Forbes

A look into Hopkins County’s groundbreaking charity event.

On Saturday, October 16th, Hopkins County YMCA and The Madisonville Rotary Club once again showed their support for underprivileged children in Hopkins County by throwing their annual charity event, Cookin’ For The Kids, which had been halted because of Covid for the past two years. Cookin’ For The Kids is a fun and unique way to raise the money needed to build beds for children in Hopkins County that aren’t fortunate enough to have a comfortable place to sleep at night, as well as create some healthy competitions between the different organizations in Hopkins County.

Guests and judges sample each organization’s dish! (Logan Weaver )

Here is how the event worked: Chefs from 30 Organizations/groups around the county gathered on the 16th with their favorite dishes, ready to be judged in their assigned category. The categories were: most unique, the best dessert, the best appetizer, and the best entrée. Guests paid a $40 entry fee, which all went to the children, and were able to go around to each group and try their dish. Judges for each category also went around and rated each dish. Guests were able to tip their favorite dish. The group with the most the highest scores and most tips won the most valuable prize in all of Hopkins County… The Golden Spatula.

As a teacher working in the Hopkins County School System for 8 years, I made a lot of home visits, and it really opened my eyes to the basic needs of some of our amazing students. I love how small towns rally together, and I was so happy to be a part of this event. It was very heartwarming to see the generosity and creativity in Hopkins County. ”

— Jenn Valeriote

One of the organizations in the running for the most unique dish was The Patrick Rudd Project, an organization that works to honor a local soldier named Patrick Rudd, who was killed in combat. They do things like provide grants to local responders and provide veterans with transitional information and important contact numbers. The chefs representing The Patrick Rudd Project were Keaton Frazer and Martha Gooden Phelps.

Keaton Frazer and Martha Gooden Phelps serve their grilled gator to the guests and judges of the event. (Logan Weaver )

For guests, this organization’s dish was either intriguing or straight-up scary. They cooked up a dish that many University of Kentucky fans were eating at the UK vs Florida football game… Gator. Frazer even took the time to come up with a name for this poor little gator before he was served to tons of guests at this charity event, (it was Gary). Even though her group came in second for the most unique dish because of some skittish judges, Frazer said, “I was super excited that the event raised so much money for local kids. I have kind of devoted my life to local kids and anytime I can help them, I try to do so.”

Gary the gator, in his final moments before being roasted and toasted by The Patrick Rudd Project. (Keaton Frazer )

The approximate number that was raised by this event is 47,000 dollars! Abbie Weaver, a former Hopkins County resident, said, “I am glad that I got this opportunity to help some kids in my old town, and I am happy that we raised so much money!” Hopefully, this powerful charity event will spark other cities to raise money for the unfortunate!