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The Childhood Language Center will host Charleston’s premiere Mac n’ Cheese Cook-Off April 5 at the Capitol Market to support free therapy services for children.

The event will feature public tasting, kids’ activities and healthy cooking demonstrations from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. under the Capitol Market Pavilion.
“Charleston’s Mac n’ Cheese Cook-Off promotes local food, showcases culinary talent and provides a fun annual event, all while raising money to support therapy for children,” said Executive Director Holly Martin. “We’re really proud to introduce this signature event in partnership with the Capitol Market.”

Proceeds benefit the Childhood Language Center, a 501(c)3 nonprofit in Charleston, W.Va. The Childhood Language Center (CLC) provides free speech, language, swallowing and feeding therapy to nearly 100 children in eight counties in southwestern W.Va.

This inaugural event is set in April to recognize Autism Awareness Month. Autism is the fastest-growing disability in America, with about one in 88 children in America diagnosed each year, Martin noted.

The deadline for team registration is midnight Friday, March 14. The team registration fee is $50. Teams will prepare about four large hotel-style dishes for public tasting, and the public will vote for the people’s choice award winner.

Hometown cooks will prepare two quarts for the judges only and compete for cash prizes of $250, $150 and $75 for first, second and third places, respectively. The hometown cook registration fee is $25, and advanced registration is encouraged.

To register online or download a form, visit www.childhoodlanguagecenter.org. More information and updates are at www.facebook.com/wvcapitolmacncheese.

The event also will feature plenty of children’s activities, including Zumba demonstrations by Mrs. Central West Virginia, macaroni jewelry-making, and healthy cooking activities presented by CLC therapists. Vendors include Capitol Market farmers and Ellen’s Ice Cream.

Healthy cooking demonstrations for adults will be provided by chefs of Paterno’s at the Park and by Millie Snyder, author of Lean and Luscious cookbooks.

This event is made possible with the generous support of BrickStreet Insurance and Laurance Jones, III.

The CLC is a RiteCare clinic, founded by the Scottish Rite Masons of Charleston, W.Va. as their chosen philanthropy.