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50 Men Who Cook raises money for suicide prevention

BATAVIA - Former Chicago Bears player Kurt Becker, part of the 1985 Super Bowl championship team, was awarded Saturday for his skills off the field.

Becker's smoked pork shoulder won over the crowd at Saturday's 50 Men Who Cook tasting event at Lincoln Inn Banquets to help raise funds for Batavia-based Suicide Prevention Services of America, as well as awareness of the nonprofit organization.

Becker, one of the celebrity chefs at the event, received the best entree award at the event.

"It's a hobby," Becker said, in talking about his culinary activities. "It's something that we do, cook for people. It's been a lot of fun being here."

Becker, a graduate of East Aurora High School, recently accepted the position of head varsity football coach of the East Aurora Tomcats.

Yorkville Mayor Gary Golinski brought his shrimp ceviche to the event.

"I love to experiment in the kitchen," he said.

Golinski also likes to help out charitable causes. He recently had his hair and mustache shaved to raise money for childhood cancer research.

Suicide Prevention Services Executive Director Stephanie Weber thanked those who participated.

"You are helping us keep our staff so we can continue to provide services," Weber said. The organization is dedicated to reducing and eliminating suicide and suicide attempts through education, advocacy and collaboration.

Batavia police officers Emil Jensen and Brian Nallenweg also participated in the event. For them, the issue of suicide hits home.

Batavia Police Sgt. Michael Rappley took his life in December 2006, and Batavia police officer Carl Ensign took his life in January 2008. Ensign was Nallenweg's brother-in-law.

"The most important part of the event is to raise money so Suicide Prevention Services can continue the work they do," Nallenwe said. 

Jensen also hoped his participation in the event will help raise awareness about the issue of suicide.

"If one person can be helped, I feel good about it," Jensen said.

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