Arts & Entertainment

Cedar Grove Chili Cookoff Fundraiser for Bill 'No Fear' Fearon Draws Huge Crowd

b6205b025bbabd51135f_DSC_0143.jpg
Fearon family and competition judges sporting "No Fear" bracelets Credits: John Kennedy
3c5b9f306b18142e1a3a_DSC_0208.jpg
Bill and Janice Fearon Credits: Jonathan Sym
85a86fd64fc0e31721a9_DSC_0086.jpg
Cedar Grove Fire Department's Chili Competition Fundraiser Credits: Jonathan Sym
8d1f3fd6eb0bb1b3058c_DSC_0093__1_.jpg
Chef Ariane Duarte (left) with Chef Amanda Freitag.  Chef Francesco Palmieri (right). Credits: Jonathan Sym
2a1c0bf327cad06f1ae5_DSC_0150.jpg
Cedar Grove fire fighters, Joe Cirasa (right), lead organizer. Credits: Jonathan Sym
631067d77a76784a9618_DSC_0117.jpg
Cedar Grove Mayor Joe Chiusolo (left) with Bill Fearon. Credits: Jonathan Sym
b21f6a1990c5a1238a87_DSC_0137.jpg
(left-right): Chef Amanda Freitag, Steve Weatherford, Chef Ariane Duarte, Chef Francesco Palmieri. Credits: Jonathan Sym
454a0affcb5a14f24ba2_DSC_0146.jpg
Cheryl and Kevin Brown of TAP Verona/Cedar Grove.  Their chili made the finals, top 12.   Credits: Jonathan Sym
ba6921d85afb80ab9d2d_DSC_0169.jpg
Chef Freitag and Chef Palmieri scoring the 35+ chili dishes entered in the competition. Credits: Jonathan Sym
3ae66a821c909b19f7a8_DSC_0197.jpg
View of the fundraiser from the stage. Credits: Jonathan Sym
a0aaa528f41f6b75acbe_DSC_0202.jpg
Cedar Grove firefighters supporting the fundraiser. Credits: Jonathan Sym
04b64d0f353e4f013a26_i-64r7Hqd-X2.jpg
(left-right): Chef Duarte, Joe Cirasa and Chef Freitag Credits: John Kennedy
46f2f3a7aa23464ce823_IMG_0978__1_.jpg
Cheryl Brown, owner of TAP Verona/Cedar Grove, with U.S. Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen. Credits: TAP Verona/Cedar Grove Staff
0fd8e853aa18904c7f34_DSC_0231.jpg
First place winner of the chili competition Jim Marshall (right) pictured with his son, John, and wife, Carol.   Credits: Jonathan Sym
fcbed001f45b1a8df1d7_i-zC7DSPp-1213x1819.jpg
Chef Amanda Freitag and Cedar Grove Mayor Joe Chiusolo. Credits: John Kennedy
70011f5cae97f82bc8cb_i-sdhWnnb-X2.jpg
The Fearon family with guest judges. Credits: John Kennedy
ca18febff7a3d9f2a94a_i-Fgn2jBF-X2.jpg
The Fearon Family, judges and members of the Cedar Grove Fire Department Credits: John Kennedy
b6205b025bbabd51135f_DSC_0143.jpg

CEDAR GROVE, NJ – Saturday night was bustling at the Macedonian church in Cedar Grove with more than 35 chili cook-off teams, three celebrity chefs, 1,000 guests and several VIPs who came out to support cancer survivor Bill “No Fear” Fearon. 

The Cedar Grove Fire Department sponsored the chili cooking competition along with New York’s 95.5 WPLJ radio host and Master of Ceremonies Todd Pettengill.

Amanda Freitag, chef/owner of the Empire Diner in Manhattan as well as a judge on Food Network’s popular show "Chopped," headlined the distinguished panel of judges along with Bravo’s Top Chef alum Chef Ariane Duarte and Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen winner Chef Francesco Palmieri.  Also judging the competition was Anne Marie Leamy and Race Taylor, both from WPLJ, former NFL punter Steve Weatherford and Superintendent of Cedar Grove Schools Michael Fetherman. 

Sign Up for E-News

The community came together to show their gratitude and support for NJ State Trooper and Cedar Grove resident Bill Fearon, who in May of this year was diagnosed with Glioblastoma (GBM).  GBM is a form of cancer that affects the left and right halves of the brain that control reading, thinking, speech, muscle movement and emotions. 

Coming home one day after work, Janice Fearon, Bill’s wife, noticed he was “slurring his words, I thought he might be having a stroke.”  Janice, having been a nurse for over 22 years, knew something wasn’t right and immediately took his blood pressure, then contacted a hospital’s emergency room for further diagnosis.  Doctors at Hackensack Medical Center don’t know what caused the tumor.  Though they removed the tumor, Fearon is under a doctor’s supervision and will continue to undergo treatment for the next two to three years. 

“Everyday I put my feet on the ground and I look forward to winning,” Bill Fearon said about living with cancer.  “This is the mindset that I have, it’s about living without fear.”

After graduating from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, he was invited to join the FBI but turned it down to join the NJ police academy.  “All I ever wanted to be was a police officer,” said Fearon.  He has served the NJ State Police for 21 years, was a first responder after the attacks on 9/11 and committed to his beloved town of Cedar Grove.  He and his wife Janice have three children; Ryan, Elyse and Jessie.

Among the guests was U.S. Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen, representing New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District, as well as the entire Cedar Grove Town Council including Mayor Joe Chiusolo, who was also a competitor.

“If it weren’t for the hard work of the fire department, none of us would be here.” Said Mayor Chiusolo.  “They stepped up and made it happen.”  Unfortunately, the Mayor’s chili didn’t win.

It was evidently clear that the Cedar Grove community loves and respects Fearon.  Competitors and guests alike had only the highest level of respect and compliments about this public servant.  “Bill is very well known in this town.  Those that don’t know him, know of him,” said Joe Cirasa, who was the lead in organizing the event and is also an officer in the fire department.  “Everybody loves him.  When we heard about his cancer, we had to do something for him, it’s just what we do.”

After hours of competition, Jim Marshall of Montville was crowned the winner of the chili competition.  His winning chili recipe included using Kettle One vodka, short ribs and fresh chili peppers.

For additional photos and story about this event, please visit the food column In Search of Flavor, www.tapinto.net/towns/verona-slash-cedar-grove and TAPintoFood on Facebook.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Verona/Cedar Grove

Parsippany septuagenarian becomes NJIT's oldest engineering grad

May 23, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - It was about five minutes after Robert Dresnack’s Water Resources Engineering class had begun when a septuagenarian poked his head into the room at NJIT. Puzzled, the professor inquired, “May I help you?”

In fact, he could. “I’m a student in this class,” replied Chris Antholis, then 72, who was six years into his quest to earn a Bachelor of ...

Cedar Grove Police Blotter

May 21, 2018

May 14, 2018 – May 20, 2018

On May 14, 2018 at 5:57 p.m., Ptl. Michael Passafiume stopped a vehicle without a front license plate and tinted windows. A subsequent investigation led to the arrest of the 36 year old male driver from Paterson for driving with a suspended license. He was processed and released with a summons to appear in municipal court.

On May 15, 2018 at 8:31 a.m., Ptl.

Vehicular Homicide Charges for Driver of Paramus School Bus

May 24, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The driver of a school bus involved in a crash on Route 80 last week that killed two people faces two counts of second-degree vehicular homicide/death by auto, it was announced today.

The driver, Hudy Muldrow, 77, of Woodland Park, attempted to make an illegal U-Turn on the highway in an attempt to find his way to Waterloo Village, the planned destination of the bus that was ...

Cedar Grove Junior Football and Cheer Registration Now Open

May 23, 2018

 

BECOME A PART OF OUR PANTHER

FOOTBALL AND CHEER FAMILY AND ...

SAVE NOW!

Registration is Now Open!

REGISTER ONLINE TODAY AND RECEIVE EARLY-BIRD DISCOUNTS!

By registering your child today, you will save $20 per child and a sibling discount of $45!

LIMITED TIME ONLY!

WWW.CEDARGROVEPANTHERS.COM

 

The Cedar Grove Junior Football and Cheer Program creates ...

'Turning Off the Morning News' brings comic twist

‘Turning Off the Morning News’ tackles today’s issues with a comic twist

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, N J – Despite the late night comics, no one quite captures the insanity of the political/social status world like Christopher Durang.

His latest play, “Turning off the Morning News” hit the ground running.  John Pankow as Jimmy addresses the audience, ...

'To Kill a Mockingbird' Sustains Timeless Appeal

SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit Playhouse provides a stellar production of a much loved classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Harper Lee novel, later a Gregory Peck film and now a stage production, retains all the warmth, intensity and integrity that made it such an appealing hit in the 1960s. And there will be a new production on Broadway in December with a script by Aaron Sorkin ...