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Chili Cook-Off for a Cause Nov. 17 at UW

November 15, 2017

University of Wyoming students in Department of Communication and Journalism Professor Tracey Patton’s class are hosting a chili cook-off to raise awareness of post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSS).

The cross-cultural communication course students are hosting the benefit for those affected by PTSS in Wyoming and the Laramie community with the fundraising cook-off Friday, Nov. 17, from 5-8 p.m. in War Memorial Fieldhouse.

Patton says Laramie restaurants are making the chili for the competition. Cook-off attendees will vote on their favorite chili concoctions, and each will have five votes. All proceeds from the fundraising event will benefit UW’s Safe Project and the Laramie community, Patton says.

Cost to attend the cook-off is $5 per person and $20 for a group of five or more people.

Past cross-cultural communication class members have held various fundraisers.

“In years past, with this course, my students and I helped establish an orphanage in Kenya; partnered with the Peace Corps in Botswana; worked on issues of homelessness in Detroit and Laramie; increased awareness for a pediatric cancer group in Casper; and worked with Rwandan genocide survivors,” Patton says. “This year, for the class service learning project, students are focused on the national and international issue of post-traumatic stress syndrome, formerly known as PTSD.”

The class has spent the fall semester examining PTSS issues related to military veterans, abuse survivors, survivors of terrorism and survivors of natural disasters.

“This is a mental health problem that can affect anyone who has experienced a traumatic event,” Patton says.

According to PTSD United, an estimated 8 percent of Americans -- 24.4 million people -- have PTSS at any given time.

“Our class heard personal testimonies of those who have been affected both directly and indirectly by PTSS,” Patton says. “These testimonies demonstrated that PTSS is not only a national issue, but a local issue. As a class, we wanted to put our communication skills into practice by developing a project that would help support those affected by PTSS.”

Miss Wyoming USA Callie Bishop and Miss Wyoming Teen USA Mackenzie Kern also will be in attendance at the cook-off.

For more information, email Patton at

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