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Thousands raised for Busby Centre through Iron Chef competition

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Nearly 100 members of the community rallied for a tasty fundraiser to help address the growing issue of homelessness in Simcoe County.

On Sunday, approximately 80 people turned out for an Iron Chef competition at McFinn's Traditional Irish Pub in Barrie. While three local chefs were battling to come out on top and be crowned victorious, the real winner was the night's beneficiary, the Busby Centre.

"We're trying to find innovative ways and different partnerships that we can create so that we can, you know, raise the funds that we need but also be able to get some education out," said Sara Peddle, the executive director of the Busby Centre.

Bell Media largely sponsored Sunday's competition. CTV News Barrie Senior Anchor Sarah Freemark, CTV News Barrie late anchor Dana Roberts and Pure Country host Stan Musial served as the night's emcees.

While final tabulations are still being done, the night collected at least $5,000, all of which will be targeted to the Busby Centre's programming for some of the City's most vulnerable.

Peddle says every dollar counts for the not-for-profit organization.

"Every day is a challenge, but days like today, when we can see all these supporters coming out and really just getting behind the work that we're doing, are absolutely breathtaking and humbling."

The chefs included Mike Saunders, a Barrie-born chef with experience in many fine-dining restaurants; Chef Gabby, who moved to Canada from Brazil in 2019; and Chef Amanda St. Amant, who got her first job in the culinary space at the age of 14 in her hometown of Elmvale.

St. Amant was crowned the night's winner overall, while each chef split the honours for each course.

Diners got to taste three different appetizers, entrees and desserts by the chefs.

"I think it's a great idea for a great cause, great night out, great food," one diner said.

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