Love of bacon drives Helping Hands benefit

Mosier Company won first place in Aporkalypse Now judging at Springhouse Cellars on Feb. 23, earning the right to compete at the World Food Championship in Alabama in November.

Stephanie Irving, Helping Hands director, said the fourth-annual fundraiser was a success, with more than 150 people in attendance, of all ages, tasting bacon-forward dishes. Attendees voted for their favorite food entry and enjoyed other activities.


COLE SYSTMA, 10, shows off his lost tooth, while wearing a “hat” made from part of a pig piñata he and other kids broke apart.

“Everyone had a good time, from the kids in the bacon-eating contest to the people in the Kevin Bacon look-alike contest,” she said. Frankie Bynum from MoCo won the Kevin Bacon contest. Bacon-eating contest winners were Dana Scheffler and Cole Systma, 10, who lost a front tooth in the process.

“It’s all in good fun, and all nine restaurants were outstanding,” Irving said.

Mosier Company, aka MoCo, won for its dates and cheese — and, bacon, too — in a Balsamic reduction. Irving said “in a very close second” was Chef Paul Hickman, and in third was Lake Taco.

Also participating were Double Mountain, Solstice Café, White Buffalo Wine Bar, Stonehedge Inn, Brian’s Pourhouse, and Wicked Sushi and Burgers.

Irving, along with Board Chair Dena Simonds, noted that the benefit comes at a time when there is an increased focus on sexual and domestic abuse, society-wide.

“Right now, we need a lot of support in the prevention world,” Simonds said. “We’ve been relevant for 38 years, but we are incredibly relevant right now.”

Irving said, “This is a kid-friendly event, and it goes along with the fact that we are doing a lot with prevention now in Hood River County School District, in the high school and middle schools,” Irving said. Prevention Specialist Jayce Tappert spends time in classrooms over three-day periods, giving students tools for prevention.

“And that is really important to us, that more and more people finally realize that what we are doing is making a difference,” Irving added.

Helping Hands’ next event will be a benefit by Tony Smiley, March 10 at River City Saloon, a benefit for the Millie May Foundation, which covers Helping Hands’ high school scholarship. Show is at 9 p.m., cost is $10, 21-and-over.

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