‘100 Men Who Cook’ dishes up $255K for CASA

Photos by Sarah Ann Jump/The Herald
Kyle Brames of Jasper, left, and Dustin Berg of Ferdinand use flaming rum to make bananas foster as Alicia and Alex Pfau of Jasper watch from their station during the 100 Men Who Cook fundraiser at the Huntingburg Event Center on Saturday. The annual event raised roughly $255,000 for the Dubois and Orange county chapters of CASA.

By LEANN BURKE
lburke@dcherald.com 

HUNTINGBURG — The youngest chef swept the competition at Old National Bank’s 100 Men Who Cook fundraising event Saturday night.

11-year-old Ian Keusch took home both the Golden Spatula — awarded to the chef whose dish brings in the most tips — and the People’s Choice award for his fried chicken and German fries. He chose the dish because chicken is his favorite food, and he likes to cook, he said.

The son of Nathan and Ashley Keusch of Jasper spent all day Saturday cooking the dish, waking up at 9 a.m. Then, at 6 p.m. Nathan served the dish to the roughly 700 attendees of 100 Men Who Cook. Since alcohol is served at the event, Ian wasn’t able to come until the award ceremony.

Cooks pump up the crowd as they parade around the room to kick-off the 100 Men Who Cook fundraiser at the Huntingburg Event Center on Saturday.

The event, which is held every two years, raised roughly $255,000 to be split between the Dubois and Orange county chapters of Court Appointed Special Advocates, an organization that assigns volunteer advocates to children going through the court system after being removed from their parents’ care. So far this year, Dubois County CASA’s 63 volunteers have served 195 children. Four children are on the program’s waitlist.

“This is going to help us go forward to get rid of that waitlist and keep it gone,” Dubois County CASA Director Deena Hubler said.

Orange County began its CASA program in April. The program is part-time with six volunteers and 140 children in need of services. Orange County CASA Director Robin Brown said her program plans to use the funds to make their program full time and to recruit more volunteers.

Dan Fritch of Jasper high-fives attendees as the cooks parade around the room to kick-off the event. Fritch served lobster macaroni and cheese which featured 5 pounds of lobster meat.

CASA volunteers are assigned to one or more cases. Their job is to get to know the family, the child and the situation, then make recommendations to the court based on what they believe is best for the child. They also attend court hearings for the case to support the child. In Dubois County, CASAs work closely with Circuit Court Judge Nathan Verkamp. More information about CASA can be found on the program’s website.

Saturday’s event, which was the third event in the area, raised the most funds in the history of 100 Men Who Cook in the Jasper region, covering Dubois and Orange counties.

The event raises money through tips for the chefs, a silent auction, a raffle and a live auction.

Josh Dixon of Orleans serves a scoop of bacon macaroni and cheese during the 100 Men Who Cook fundraiser at the Huntingburg Event Center on Saturday.

This year, the big-ticket item in the auction was a 1976 Ford Bronco rebuilt by the team at Ruxer Ford in Jasper. It sold for $85,000.

Other big sellers were a homemade Italian dinner for 10 by John and Lisa Seibert with limo service that sold for about $10,000 and a golf outing with professional golfer Fuzzy Zoeller that sold for just over $5,000.

The Jasper region held its first 100 Men Who Cook event in 2014 and raised $115,000 for the Indiana National Guard Relief Fund. In 2016, the event raised $245,000 for the Dubois County Leukemia Association and Jasper native and former professional baseball player Scott Rolen’s E5 Foundation.

The next event will be in 2020. When asked if he’d cook again, Ian Keusch smiled and said, “If they let me.”

More photos from the event are below.

Ben Walker of Ireland, left, receives a sample of shrimp and grits from Tim Flick of Huntingburg during the 100 Men Who Cook fundraiser at the Huntingburg Event Center on Saturday.
Tim Lampert of Jasper, right, points out a silent auction item to Leon Schroering of Jasper during the 100 Men Who Cook fundraiser at the Huntingburg Event Center on Saturday.
Zach Muncy of Dillsboro rubs grease over a roast hog to create a shine on the skin during the 100 Men Who Cook fundraiser at the Huntingburg Event Center on Saturday.
Tom Krodel of Jasper talks with attendees while serving up homemade ice cream during the 100 Men Who Cook fundraiser at the Huntingburg Event Center on Saturday.
Mike Elliott of Jasper talks with Kris Hochmeister of Jasper as he serves yakitori, a Japanese chicken skewer, during the 100 Men Who Cook fundraiser at the Huntingburg Event Center on Saturday.
Al Baldwin and Dan Burke, both of Jasper, don German attire as they assemble their black forest cherry cake during the 100 Men Who Cook fundraiser at the Huntingburg Event Center on Saturday. The cake was made with kirschwasser, a cherry brandy, that Burke brought back from a recent trip to German.



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