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Strohman challenging Grant County’s leading men to try and out-cook him

Warning from Kyle Strohman: “I’m totally promising that our team will defend my 2018 Leading Men Who Cook Champion Chef title! I expect the 2019 title to be just the second of many more consecutive such designations for the Y.”

To what title could Strohman possibly be referring, you ask? Well, last November he won LEAD Inc.’s Leading Men Who Cook Champion Chef designation with his delectable Seasoned Lamb Chop with sweet balsamic reduction.

Chef Strohman, Grant County YMCA CEO, won the title by securing the most tips online and at the event in his tip jar. The roughly $1,500 was used to help purchase a needed piece of exercise equipment for the Y’s fitness center. This is why he is guaranteeing a repeat for the Y team in 2019. He was so excited by his victory that he even indicated he will seriously consider joining the professional cooking circuit at some point within the next 5 years.

LEAD Inc. is the acronym for Leadership Education and Development, an organization serving Grant County since 1993, offering adult and youth leadership programs with the vision of preparing the next generation of community leaders for Grant County.

On Saturday, Nov. 2 from 6-9 p.m. there will be 30 local chefs at the Roseburg Event Center attempting to unseat Chef Kyle’s team. Each chef is a center of influence in the Grant County community and will serve their favorite dish, earning tips (donations) from the guests in the process. Tip money will benefit the nonprofit organization of their choice. So, 30 local charities will benefit from this event. Tip jars will open online October 1 at and conclude with a tip jar at each chef’s serving station the night of the event.

Cocktails will be available along with raffle and auctions items, all to raise money for LEAD Inc. and other local nonprofits. Through this annual event, LEAD Inc. has brought together leaders from all walks of the community to celebrate their passion for making a difference and helping to showcase their favorite charity at the same time.

“Leading Men Who Cook” is a signature fundraising event for LEAD Inc. This will be its sixth year. It relies heavily on the volunteer efforts – and the collaborative spirit of these leading men – for its great success. Volunteers include the tip counting team, auction donors, and secret group of judges who decide the best appetizer, side dish, entrée, and dessert.

The 2018 competition raised nearly $20,000 for 30 local charities. Added last year was the addition of three local “Leading Teens Who Cook” who served appetizers to the guests before the main event of the evening. Chef Lauren Belcher was awarded the Teen Choice Award for her entry as she raised money for juvenile diabetes research.

This year’s event will particularly benefit expanding the Y.E.S. Network (Youth Empowered to Serve) to McCulloch Middle School. This after school program will introduce 7th and 8th graders to the concepts of personal responsibility, working together as a team, and serving the community.

“We are really excited to use LEAD Inc.’s premier annual event to not only support our leadership programs but also to benefit local charities who do so much to make our community better. Plus, the food is incredible! I know that I’m going to be there again this year competing for a Leading Men Who Cook award,” said returning chef, founding board member and Leadership Grant County facilitator, Tim Harris.

LEAD Inc. believes, “In every person is a leader waiting to be developed.” The organization exists to develop and train leaders in Grant County. With three universities, a community full of talented and caring citizens, strong business and manufacturing partnerships, and a rich heritage of leadership. LEAD Inc. is developing the next generation of leadership, to preserve a strong and healthy community.

Charlie Wallace won the title in 2014, the inaugural year of the event. Isaac Horner then won consecutive titles in 2015 and 2016. Jason Ford won in 2017 before Kyle Strohman broke into the winner’s circle last year.

To attend, sponsor, volunteer, or become a chef for this year’s event, visit the website: or contact LEAD Inc. directly at 765.251.8732 and/or email event coordinator or any LEAD Inc. Board Member.

Individual tickets are $25. Sponsorships range from $500 to $2,000. Become a Chef de Partie ($500), Sous Chef ($1,000), or Head Chef ($2,000) sponsor and receive a table of 8, recognition in all promotional material, complimentary beverages and prize tickets for each guest as well as one-time complimentary use of the Thompson-Ray House ($200 value). Depending upon the sponsorship level, complimentary class registrations to Leadership Grant County ($350 value) and a scholarship presented in your name to a YES! Network graduate ($500 value) are also included. Sponsorship detail can be found on the website or by calling LEAD Inc.

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