Who has the best burger in the St. Croix Valley?

In it’s fifth year, contest raises money for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation 

val0116best burgerDespite a slightly slower start than previous years, The Best Burger in the Valley competition is starting to heat up.

In it’s fifth year, the competition pits local restaurants against each other in a friendly competition to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Customers purchase cards that are redeemable for a free burger at each of the participating restaurants during January, February, and March.

Last week Cory Buettner of Leo’s said sales were at first slower than in the past, likely due to the polar vortex that hit town, but that just about half of the cards were sold out and he was expecting more to sell over this past weekend.

“There’s a lot of residual interest in it, so we make sure that they get theirs and we’re about halfway to being sold out, we’ve made $7,500,” Buettner said last week. “All of the money goes to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Once in a while we get asked if the restaurants get kickbacks at all, but we don’t, and 100 percent of that money goes towards the foundation. We’ll sell 500 cards at $30 each.”

This is the fifth year that The Best Burger in the Valley competition has taken place.

Participants this year include: Brine’s Restaurant & Bar, Leo’s Grill & Malt Shop, Pub 112, Rafter’s, Smalley’s Caribbean Barbeque, Water Street Inn and the defending 2013 winner Oasis Cafe.

The competition began shortly after Buettner and his family found out that friends of theirs, Lisa and Marc Horowicki, had a child who was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. Instead of hosting a walk like the Horowicki’s had suggested, Buettner said they wanted to set up this competition to put a new spin on it.

“The way I look at it, it kind of breaks my heart,” Buettner said. “The life expectancy for someone with CF, I think, is 37 now. I can’t imagine knowing that as a parent. But technology and medical research have really moved that back. My wife had a friend with CF when she was younger. She passed away at 22, so it’s getting better, but it seems like to me that it could be beatable. What drives us is to help them, and to get this thing whooped would be great.”

To date, The Best Burger in the Valley competition has raised more than $50,000 to search for a cure to this life-shortening disease.

The public is invited to purchase Best Burger cards that are redeemable for a free burger at each of the participating restaurants during January, February, and March. Cards can be bought at Leo’s or by phone at KLBB Radio, 651-275-1220.

Participants can vote for their favorite burger by using the ballot number on the back of their Best Burger card. Completed cards should be brought or mailed to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 8011 34th Ave. S, Suite 116, Bloomington, MN. The last day to vote is April 15.

For more information on the competition go to BestBurgerintheValley.org.


Contact Avery Cropp at avery.cropp@ecm-inc.com

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