Chili cook-off fundraiser to be held in policeman's memory

2012-10-24T21:30:00Z 2012-10-24T21:30:04Z Chili cook-off fundraiser to be held in policeman's memoryLindsay Machak lindsay.machak@nwi.com, (219) 933-3246 nwitimes.com

HAMMOND | A chili cook-off fundraiser will be held Sunday in memory of a Hammond police officer who died in 2006 after fighting bone cancer.

The Joe Betustak Jr. Foundation will be raising money for families that have children battling terminal and serious illnesses and need help.

The event will be at the Hammond FOP Lodge 51, 7527 Kennedy Ave., during the Bears game.

A donation of $10 will buy guests chili, hot dogs and nachos, and football fun. Doors open at 11 a.m.

The foundation usually holds a large event in May, but is hoping the chili cook-off will become a tradition, Joe Betustak said.

Betustak's son, Joe Betustak Jr., died in 2006 from osteosarcoma. The foundation was formed in his memory to help other families struggling through the same kinds of emotions, Betustakk said.

“When Joe got further into the treatment, he said to me, 'Dad, when you go into a store and you see a coffee can for a kid dealing with cancer, throw a couple coins in for me,'" he said. “Well, we took it a step further and want to help as many as we can as much as we can.”

Organizers hope to raise enough money at the event to donate to families before the holidays, he said.

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