Cookin Men Logo

WellSpan Evangelical Community Hospital held its annual breast cancer awareness event, Cookin’ Men, on Thursday, October 26, 2023, at the Rusty Rail Brewing Company in Mifflinburg.

In total, the event raised $75,760 for the Thyra M. Humphreys Center for Breast Health, setting a fundraising record for the second year in a row. The Center for Breast Health uses the funds raised from Cookin’ Men to ensure that all women in our region have access to the most advanced care. For those who are affected by breast cancer, funds are used to promote access to research trials, education, navigation, and support services.

The event brings together local celebrity men and women as chefs and chef teams to create culinary delights for people to enjoy while raising funds.

Those who attended were treated to tasting-sized bites of appetizers, main dishes, and desserts.

Pushing the fundraising over the top this year was the competitive drive toward being named Top Chef, which awarded the winner the coveted Pink Whisk Award and the premiere cooking station at the event. The contest, which challenged each chef to individually garner the most donations for the Center for Breast Health, ended at noon the day of the event.

The chefs collectively raised $45,299 through chef votes where fans gave funds to support their fundraising efforts. Declared Top Chef was Rick Schuck of Bot’s Tavern who raised $24,100 by the deadline. He prepared Beef Sliders for guests to enjoy.

Top Chef runners up were Eric John of Ritz Craft with $5,650 and the chef team of Angela Hess and Adam Bowersox of the Rusty Rail Brewing Company with $2,050. Other top fundraisers included Tom Morgan, on-air personality, and Chelsey Pagana Davis representing Sunbury Broadcasting Corporation; Matthew Walsh and Matthew van Leeuwe of Geisinger; Jim Carpenter and Jared Frank of MoJo Active, Inc.; James Patterson, MD, of WellSpan Family Medicine; Paul Burkholder of Furmano Foods; Braden Klinger of Bull Run Tap House; and Bob Garrett of The Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce who raised $1,000 or more.

“We are extremely grateful for the chefs, sponsors, and attendees who make this event a continued success, year after year,” said Donna Schuck, Associate Vice President of Philanthropy and Donor Relations. “Centered around fun, this event brings much needed funds to support the serious work the Center for Breast Health does with and for its patients through screening, diagnosis, treatment, survivorship resources for cancer. Every dollar raised impacts the ability of the Center to continue its valued and needed services.”

This year’s event was generously sponsored by Weis Markets in the Executive Chef category.

The approximately 300 attendees of the event also voted for their favorite dish by sampling all of the options and casting their vote. The winner of the tastiest bite was James Patterson, MD and his son, Zane Patterson, with their dish of Italian Roast Beef Sliders.

Filling the event space with the spirit of breast cancer awareness, each chef table was decorated in the hopes of winning the Pink Flair contest. Ken Jusko, DO, Quantum Imaging and Therapeutic Services, won by pulling out all the stops in his over-the-top pink Barbie-inspired display that included a Barbie photo booth where guests could turn themselves into real-life Barbies in the Mattel box.

This year, the event featured Pennsylvania College of Technology Baking and Pastry Arts Chef Todd Keeley and students. The students prepared a variety of desserts in front of guests at their station for all to enjoy.

The Thyra M. Humphreys Center for Breast Health has a dedicated team of specialists who provide comprehensive care including screenings, diagnosis, and treatment for women. The care doesn’t stop there, after diagnosis the Center offers survivors support through clinics, programs, and one-on-one attention with professionals trained to understand the psychological, physical, emotional, and social effects of a cancer diagnosis.

For more information about the Center for Breast Health and the services available, call 570-522-4200.

Thank you to this year's chefs: