Press Releases

Millburn Firefighters Host Cook-off to Benefit Opportunity Project

Millburn's Finest Ready to Cook Off to Benefit Opportunity Project Credits: Opportunity Project

Millburn Firefighters Host Cook-off for Brain Injury 

The Millburn Police Department accepted the challenge made by the Millburn Fire Department to cook the ultimate slider in a Cook-off to raise funds for Opportunity Project, a local non-profit that assists individuals recovering from brain injury. 

 Firefighter Dave Hammond, who has taken home the prize in various cooking competitions including Opportunity Project’s Gumbo cook-off at the Firehouse in 2015, is confident he will bring home the BEST CHEF trophy once again. Dave’s passion, besides fighting fires, is cooking which he has been doing since he was 7 years old. “A successful competition for me is putting in 100%. It is not only about winning but gaining confidence, and having fun.  It is an honor to be invited to participate in the Battle of the Badges Cook-off competition for Opportunity Project.  I am amazed at the care that is provided to their members.  I am happy to participate in an event that will benefit brain injury survivors.”

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Meanwhile, Officer Lester Manuyag from the Millburn Police Department says he may appear to be the underdog but is looking forward to giving Dave a run for his money in this Cook-off competition. “My slider has been a hit wherever it has been served.  Get ready for slider perfection! I am thrilled to be part of this Cook-off to raise money for a great cause.”

Fire Chief Robert Echavarria, Police Chief Brian Gilfedder and Sergeant Michael Fattal announced the Cook-off fundraiser at their headquarters and invite Millburn/Short Hills and the surrounding communities to join the fun on Friday, April 27 at 6:00 p.m. at the Millburn Township fire headquarters at 459 Essex Street. 

The chefs’ slider cooking skills will be judged by a panel of judges including Millburn Mayor Cheryl Burstein. The voting will also include a public opinion vote, so come and cast your vote! If you aren’t a big slider fan, not to worry as there will be other great side dishes at this BBQ- themed family friendly event!

The event, sponsored by U.S. Trust Bank of America Private Wealth Management and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, is the last in a series of events aimed at generating awareness and the need for prevention for brain injury awareness month.

The Cook-off will also feature live entertainment by So I Heard Music, door prizes and more.

Tickets are $25 per person, $10 for children ages 6-12 and free for ages 5 and under.  Purchase tickets in advance at email: or call: 973-921-1000 x 105


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