Tickets are going fast for the Feb. 4 Pete Soto Chili Cook-Off.
Avon police officer Chris Barton, who is organizing the event, said Thursday that about 70 percent of the tickets for the event have been sold.
The cook-off is named in honor of Avon police officer Pete Soto, who was critically injured in a motorcycle crash while on-duty in 2010. Last year, the funds raised from the cook-off went to help pay his bills.
This year, proceeds will benefit the Lorain County Blue Foundation, a non-profit created by Barton to help police officers in Lorain County who are injured in the line of duty, or the families of those killed.
Ten groups will be competing for the chili-cooking title this year: Avon police, Avon Lake police, Elyria police, Sheffield Village police, Vermilion police, Lorain police, North Ridgeville police, Lorain County Sheriff's Office, and the Warthogs Motorcycle Club.
Barton said he's been getting great help from his fellow police officers. Deni Stempowski runs the kitchen, Andy Kehl is in charge of prizes and raffles, Jeannine Coe created the T-shirts, signs and logos and Alyssa Drozdowski handles emails and memos.
"This wouldn't be possible without them," Barton said. "They really donate a lot of time and energy."
Coe and fellow officer Eric Bergen are making the chili again this year after last year's victory.They estimate they're going to cook about 75 pounds of ground meat in their chili.
They're tweaking last year's winning recipe a little bit, Coe said, but not much. And, no, they wouldn't reveal their secrets.