Pauline and Ken Karcher look forward to this Thursday’s annual Valentine’s benefit for the CPC Pregnancy and Family Resource Center.
Pauline and Ken Karcher look forward to this Thursday’s annual Valentine’s benefit for the CPC Pregnancy and Family Resource Center.
Ken Karcher has seen a lot in his 31-year career in football, but that is not what he is talking about today. He won’t be talking about playing  ball under College Football Hall of Fame coach Mack Brown at Tulane, or his professional stint in Denver. He played behind John Elway for a year and even holds two team records over Peyton Manning and Elway.

He holds the record for most completed passes by a rookie quarterback at 25 and most pass yards a game for his rookie season, averaging 209.3.

You could ask him about how his East Central Community College Warriors are going to do next season, or even how he found his way to one of the toughest conferences in football — professional or otherwise. A road that includes stints as on offensive coordinator under Johnny Majors, another Hall of Fame coach, at Pitt and time with the Rhein Fire, the NFL Europe team in Dusseldorf, Germany, where he led an offense to their first winning season and a bid to the World Bowl in 1997 where they lost to the Barcelona Dragons.

Karcher has seen a lot and there is a lot you could ask him, but today all he wants to talk about is a cause that is near and dear to his heart, The Pregnancy and Family Resource Center’s Tenth Annual Valentine’s Benefit.

Karcher’s wife, Pauline, is the executive director of the CPC.

“This is something she has been involved with since we moved here about seven years ago and I have had the privilege to watch it grow every year,” Ken said.

This Thursday, six local restaurants will host guest servers, a crew of local volunteers, who will take orders and serve meals for tips and gifts, all of which go to the CPC.

Participating restaurants are T-Bones Steakhouse in Union, Ronnie’s Steak and Grill, McAlister’s Deli, the Laredo Grill, City Limits and the Bloomo Diner.

Service for the event starts at 5 p.m. and goes until 9 p.m.

“People come out to this event and are very generous, which is very helpful to this organization,” Karcher said. “It is their major fundraiser of the year and it has huge effect on many people’s lives.”

Pauline said that the event usually generates around $15,000 for the center, with a new high bar set last year at around $20,000.

Pauline said that she knew he would be a good cook to represent the dinner event.

“He is the amazing chef of our home,” she said.

Before Ken wanted to become a pastor or a football coach he said he wanted to be a chef as a young man growing up in Pittsburgh. Pauline is from Long Island.

“We have lived many places in between,” he said.

Karcher said he has always had a passion for working with young men to realize their potential. While he was in Denver, backing up Elway, he started seminary but soon started a coaching journey that made it hard to finish. He finally finished seminary nearby in 2015.

“I have done a lot of cooking on the side, I guess you could say,” Karcher said.

As the chef, his specialties include an egg and vegetable medley for breakfasts, grilled swordfish and a host of sides that include beets and kale.

He enjoys cooking for a family that includes four kids and five grandchildren. 

You can see Ken and his wife slinging steaks at T-Bone’s on Thursday evening.

Grilled Swordfish Steaks

Pat dry swordfish steaks with paper towels. Season both sides of the swordfish. Press seasoning into fish with hands.

Sauté in butter and olive oil. When grill is hot, add the seasoned fish. Bake until the one side is golden brown, flip and repeat on other side until fish is opaque. Squeeze lemon juice over the fish.


1 ½ tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp dried thyme leaves

1 tsp dried oregano leaves

1 tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

½ tsp cayenne pepper

Veggie Breakfast Mix

Broccoli Florets

Sliced Mushrooms

Chopped Onions

Diced Zucchini

½ Diced Pepper (Red, Orange or Red)

Sauté vegetables in Olive Oil and add seasoning of choice. My favorite is Garlic Herb. While preparing the vegetables scramble 2-4 eggs. Once eggs are finished mix the eggs into the vegetable mix. Enjoy a healthy, veggie rich start to your day!

Baked Kale Chips

Chop Kale leaves into chip size. Sprinkle Olive Oil and Salt or Garlic Salt on the Kale. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 375 or until crisp. Flip the Kale chips over occasionally. 

Roasted Balsamic Beets

Peel and chop the beets into small cubes. Toss the beets with olive oil, salt and thyme. Bake the beets in the oven at 425 for 15 minutes. Mix beets together in balsamic vinegar. Return them to the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until crisp. They are great alone but also make a great salad topping.