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Cookin’ Showdown to benefit SafeHouse

By CAROLINE CARMICHAEL / Staff Writer

For its second year in a row, SafeHouse of Shelby County and its SafeShelby Sexual Assault Services program are hosting the Southern Cookin’ Showdown benefit, set for April 21 at Summer Classics in Pelham.

Contest registration opens at 8 a.m., and the event concludes with cleanup at 2 p.m.

“We have a dual purpose,” LeAnne Knight of SafeShelby said. “One is to raise money, and the other is to raise awareness that we have these services available to citizens in our areas.”

SafeHouse is a nonprofit organization that offers shelter and comprehensive services to victims of violence. It is the parent organization of SafeShelby, which has served numerous Chilton, Shelby, Clay and Coosa residents since its start in December 2016.

Chilton County residents are invited to “cook and compete or just come and eat,” according to the organization.

LeAnne Knight of SafeShelby said activities include live music, contest food and other food, as well as children’s activities.

”There will be big inflatables, fire trucks, police cars, games for the kids. There’ll be balloons and clowns,” Knight said. “It’s just a really fun family event.”

Admission is free, although taste-testers of contest creations are required to purchase a wristband.

Wristbands are available for $15 each online at SafeHouse.org, or two for $25 through the office at (205) 669-1877.

“We’re still looking for teams and sponsors,” Knight said.

Teams may consist of up to four individuals and may compete in the following categories: Sweets, Meats, Fixins or Dough (breads and bread-based items).

There will be formal judging and awards.

Interested participants and sponsors can learn more at SafeHouse.org or email further questions to Dotti Bailey at dottib@safehouse.org.

Proceeds from the event will benefit both SafeHouse and SafeShelby.

A representative of Butterfly Bridge Children’s Advocacy Center in Clanton said many of its young clients who out-age its program are referred to SafeShelby.

SafeShelby provides forensic exams to survivors of rape, counseling, case management and shelter, if need be.

Knight said SafeHouse as a whole strives to help survivors of violence get “back on their feet.”

“Our holistic approach meets survivors where they are and is a partnership with the survivor to establish and achieve goals of sustaining a life independent and free from abuse,” according to a press release.

“We just feel like there’s so many survivors of violence out there that go unserved because they don’t know that these services are available to them,” Knight said.

Knight said the Southern Cookin’ Showdown aims to expand awareness of the resources available to these survivors.

To learn more about SafeHouse of Shelby County or SafeShelby Sexual Assault Services, visit SafeHouse.org.