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Veterans Day Cook-Off to get homeless veterans off the street

Veterans Day Cook-Off to celebrate and house homeless veterans (WNWO)

TOLEDO, Oh. (WNWO) -- A national effort to end veteran homelessness on Veterans Day.

Just $5 gets you a spoon to try as much chili as you want at the Chili Cook-Off hosted by advocacy group Veterans Matter and the Exchange Club of Toledo at Heatherdowns Country Club.

"I really like the white chicken chili,” says Shannon Sullivan.

"For veterans to be able to get housed because of this community's generosity is such a beautiful, beautiful, powerful blessing for veterans and for our nation,” says Ken Leslie, Advocate in Chief of Veterans Matter.

On 11/11, 100 National Exchange Clubs across the nation hosted Chili Cook-Offs.

“This is my West Indian pepper sauce chili,” says Aram Ohanian. “It's from the Caribbean. It's been cooking for a few hours. And it has a dash of Markus West Indian pepper sauce in it."

The proceeds go toward Veterans Matter.

"This is going to make a huge difference in at least one family who is not going to have to freeze in their car this winter,” says Leslie.

They honored one veteran Haraz Ghanbari, who served in the United States Navy, for his work at the University of Toledo in the military and veterans affairs department. He says he's proud of northwest Ohio's community effort to get veterans off the streets.

"At the University of Toledo, I work with the education piece,” says Ghanbari. “Veterans matter works with the housing piece. Other organizations in town that work with the financial piece or the spiritual piece or the emotional piece and so it really takes a community coming together and saying how can we help our veterans and their transitional needs, how can we help our veterans that are having some challenges."

Last year they raised more than $55,000 and tonight they're helping to double that.

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