Best In Paradise raises $15,000 for Food Bank

Staff Report

Planned, managed and attended by Rockford residents to help their neighbors in need, this year’s Seventh Annual The Best In Paradise burger and margarita competition and community event raised a record $15,000 for Northern Illinois Food Bank (NIFB) in support of feeding hungry Rockford-area residents.

Julie Christian, of Rockford, who was one of 19 committee members who planned the event, said: “This event is an amazing way to watch a community come together and have a great time while supporting their hungry neighbors. I can’t think of a better organization to donate funds to and know the money is working right here in our community, helping people we all know.”

Chris White, manager of NIFB’s Northwest Center in Loves Park, said: “The Best In Paradise is a terrific example of the local community seeing a need and coming together to support their hungry neighbors. It’s this type of community support that really makes a difference for our hungry neighbors.”

In Winnebago County, more than 53,000 people face hunger. Because NIFB can turn every dollar donated into six meals, The Best In Paradise donation will help provide 90,000 meals to neighbors in need.

To learn more about the food bank, hunger in the Rockford area, and how to get involved, log on to or call (815) 639-1257.

The Best In Paradise was supported by several local businesses and residents.

Reggie Roberson, Best In Paradise chairman, said: “We are so grateful for the support of the 25 team captains, more than 100 volunteers, and our loyal and generous sponsors who helped us make the Seventh Annual The Best In Paradise a record success. It takes a ton of dedicated people to pull off an event like this, and we are fortunate that many of the businesses have been with the event for the past seven years.”

A complete list of the companies and organizations supporting the Best In Paradise event is available at

The Best In Paradise committee members include Aubrey Brewer, Jenny Caiozzo, Brad Christian, Julie Christian, Kaili Daehne, Michelle Daehne, Sandy Daehne, Diana Meyers, Jeff Flemming, Greg Meyers, Mike Hall, Shelly Harper, Dave Hoshaw, Michelle Hoshaw, Kevin Jackson, Roberson, Jeremy Rose, Rich Schmidt and Brad Stallings.

NIFB, a member of Feeding America, is a non-profit organization that engages the community in a commitment to feed our hungry neighbors. Across 13 counties, food manufacturers, local groceries, corporations, foundations and individuals come together to donate food and funds, and evaluate and repack food for distribution to more than 600 network partners — the food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and youth and senior feeding programs that serve more than 60,000 hungry neighbors each week. That commitment provided 29 million meals last year to those in need.

NIFB has centers in Geneva (West Suburban Center), Park City (North Suburban Center) and Loves Park (Northwest Center), and an office in Joliet (South Suburban Office).

For more about NIFB, visit

From the July 18-24, 2012, issue

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