State Highway Patrol trooper Clint Carroll earned first place in the Cheers For Chocolate's Men Can Cook Chocolate Contest on Feb. 2.

The 10th annual event was held at Holly Hill Mall and Business Center, 309 Huffman Mill Rd., Burlington.

This was Carroll's second win; he won in 2017 as well.

The "winner" is the person who raises the most money for Christmas Cheer of Alamance County. Participants can raise funds through friends, their workplace, etc., as well as during the chocolate festival. 

Carroll said that the Food Lion in Graham donated all of the ingredients to make the pies and his wife, Wendi, helped in making them.

In addition to Carroll, the contest featured Michael Ebaugh, a junior at Elon University and tight end for the football team; Al Elsenrath, Swepsonville United Methodist Church lay leader; Robbin Lee, co-owner of Total Care Pharmacy; Chuck Loy, Burlington Fire Department lieutenant (2018 winner); and radio personality Chuck Marsh.

The contest earned $3,418.61 for Christmas Cheer of Alamance County, which provides toys, food and gifts to families as well as assisting the elderly at Christmastime.

"The State Highway Patrol has been very active at this festival for many years now and it’s a chance for us to get together in a non-working atmosphere without the pressures that this crazy job can bring on from time to time. I’ve always baked chocolate chess pies in pot-pie size and they seem to vanish first from the table," Carroll said.

He discovered the contest through Trooper Robert "Skip" Skipwith.

"As a younger trooper then, I always respected and looked up to our older, wiser and senior troopers in Alamance County and Trooper 'Skip' was no exception," he said. "Now, I’m that older wiser and more senior trooper here in Alamance County with 22 years of service with The Highway Patrol and two years at Burlington Police Department prior at the ripe age of 47."

Carroll said that this charity is near and dear not only to his heart, but his family's as well.

"I remember one year that me, my wife and our two sons went personally to deliver a donation to a family for Christmas Cheer and first to see the look on the family’s face was great. But then, to see the look on my kids' faces was priceless. They had never seen families that live in those conditions. I think it struck a chord in them. I hope it did," he added.