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Wounded Warrior Homes Hosts Chili Cook-Off June 25

Wounded Warrior Homes offers affordable transitional housing to injured service members.
Wounded Warrior Homes offers affordable transitional
housing to injured service members.
Courtesy Photo

On Saturday, June 25, 10 chili cooks and five salsa makers will bring out their best ingredients to compete for bragging rights as the town’s best chili chef. Wounded Warrior Homes is hosting its 2nd Annual Chili Cook-Off and Salsa Making Contest at Encinitas Country Day School from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“We thought a chili and salsa contest would be a fun way to have a community event,” founder Mia Roseberry said.

Approximately 30 vendors and 300 patrons are expected to attend this family friendly function. And some of San Diego’s CEOs will be in attendance as well as a variety of celebrities, from bestselling author Greg S. Reid to actor Billy St. John. Dr. Fix It and Bobcat Billy will be broadcasting a live radio show on-location from 10 a.m. to noon while the cook-a-thon ensues. Guests may vote for their favorite cook from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and the victorious chili champion will be announced at 3 p.m.

“Attendees will purchase voting tickets, taste the chili and salsa, then drop a ticket at that cook’s station if they like it,” Roseberry said. “The cook with the most tickets wins bragging rights for the entire year. Our cooks are very competitive, and this is shaping up to be a ridiculously fun contest.”

All proceeds from this event will be used to help the organization establish five homes and one condominium complex in San Diego for medically discharged U.S. service members.

“My target opening date is on or before September 2011,” Roseberry said. “The homes will be located between the Balboa Naval Hospital area and Camp Pendleton.”

Wounded Warrior Homes was founded to provide injured service members with affordable transitional housing for up to 2.5 years while they adjust back to independent living. Approximately 20 percent of military troops with mild brain injuries suffer from prolonged or lifelong symptoms, requiring continuing care. Wounded Warrior Homes’ low-cost transitional housing allows veterans who struggle with traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder to remain close to their doctors and medical facilities after leaving rehabilitation treatment. These men and women can also take comfort in the sense of camaraderie that thrives in the dormitory-style housing.

American troops stationed in Iraq most commonly suffer traumatic brain injuries from explosions, which can leave lingering effects.

Roseberry is no stranger to traumatic brain injury.It was her 11th birthday. After a day of celebrating with family and friends at a pool party, Roseberry hopped in her neighbor’s Volkswagen Beetle, excited to get home for a sleepover. Had she known the driver was drunk, her life may have turned out very differently.

One block down the road, her neighbor rear-ended a large van, completely totaling the Beetle.

“There were no seatbelts in the back seat of cars at the time and I broke the rear and both side windows with my head and face,” Roseberry said. “The paramedics later said the only thing that saved me was a large stuffed animal my mom had won for me at the fair that morning.”

The accident cost Roseberry her ability to hear. She could no longer hear out of her left ear and she suffered 40 percent hearing loss in her right ear.

Roseberry’s experience as a member of the U.S. Navy, an emergency medical technician and a special education teacher is what inspired her to help America’s wounded warriors. She knows as well as anyone just how difficult it is to transition from serving in the armed forces back to normal life, especially with a life-changing injury.

Her husband Steve, a general contractor and home inspector with more than 25 years of experience, offers the organization crucial expertise on remodeling to ADA compliance. Together, the couple has always extended their support to active and retired service members.

Help the Roseberrys raise awareness and support our wounded warriors by attending the 2nd Annual Chili Cook-Off or donating through the Wounded Warrior Homes website.


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  • City: Encinitas
  • Organization: Wounded Warrior Homes
  • Dates: June 25, 2011