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Chili Cook Off Helps Local Organization

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By Brianna Case.
Crowds of people poured into the Southern Tier Harley-Davidson Dealership today, but they weren't just checking out motorcycles.

They came for the Binghamton Hogs 12th Annual Chili Cook Off. This cook off is one of many the organization holds each year.

"We have 22 right now, judge them independently. We have six judges and then we are going to have a people's choice after," said Don Raushmeier, Director of Binghamton Hogs Group.

The Binghamton Hogs usually use the cook off proceeds to raise funds for their organization, but this year, they decided to change things up.

"We are trying to come up with a charity and they said we've got a good one really worthy right close to here so why don't we choose that one," said Raushmeier.

That's when they chose hounds helping heroes, a local organization that provides service dogs to veterans.

"We go into shelters, we rescue dogs that are abandoned, mistreated, neglected. We do an extensive temperament test on them to see if they can be placed as a service dog," said Murphy.

The organization that was founded in 2014 has successfully placed three dogs with veterans. The founder says she is grateful for events like these.

"I am just happy that the community is coming together to help me support this great cause that is helping veterans all over the world," said Amy Murphy, Founder of Hounds Helping Heroes.

Attending a fundraiser like this one can change someone's life. All you do is come in, have a cup of chili and you are making a difference.

"I have seen one of their other dogs with a veteran. Just the love you see between the two of them is amazing," said Toni Dougherty, Binghamton Resident.

Hounds Helping Heroes helped, Dougherty to get a therapy dog and she says that it's helping her to stay positive.

"If you look at a dog, are you going to think of the negative things you are thinking about or are you going to think about the dog that is in front of you. That's their job, their job is to distract you," said Dougherty.

"When you say you are helping out Veterans, people seem to want to come and do their part," said Raushmeier.

It's something the Binghamton Hogs accomplished today with lots of chili.