United Way seeks chili cooks for kickoff event

Published 10:39 pm Monday, August 22, 2011

The Pike County United Way will kick off its 2012 fundraising campaign with a Chili Cook-Off Tuesday, Aug. 30, at Cattleman Park. All 17 Pike County agencies that are supported by the United Way, local businesses and individual chili gurus will compete for the coveted Chili Championship.

The deadline for entry has been extended a couple of days to give everyone a chance to enter. The cutoff will be 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24.

“The Chili Cook-Off will be a fun and exciting event and the public will be the judge as to which entry is head and shoulders above the rest,” said Tonya Gibson, Pike County United Way executive director.

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To enter, drop a check for $25 made payable to the Pike County United Way with name, address and telephone number at either the South Alabama Gas District, 310 East Walnut Street in Troy or the American Red Cross Office, 131 S.A. Graham Blvd. in Brundidge.

Each entry should be about three gallons of chili and include a list of ingredients.

“We aren’t asking for recipes but we do want the ingredients to be listed for those who have allergies,” Gibson said. “This is a tasters’ choice competition and the public will vote on which chili they think is best. After tasting all the entries, votes of one dollar each may be cast. You might vote one time for your favorite chili or you might vote five times for one chili or one time for five different pots of chili.”

Trophies will be presented to the top three tasters’ choice winners.

The Chili Cook-Off won’t be the only fun to be had at the Pike County United Way Kickoff Campaign.

“We’ll also have a silent auction and we’ve got a lot of really good auction items that have been donated by local merchants,” Gibson said. “We are still accepting donations for the silent auction and these items will be greatly appreciated.”

To make a donation to the silent auction, call Kim May at 334-672-4481, Jane Thrash at 334-344-0859 or Tammy Powell at 334-268-1353.

“We’ll also have a ‘Split the Pot’ drawing,” Gibson said. “Donations are one dollar and you don’t have to be present to win.

“We’ll have entertainment and a play area for the children so we encourage everyone to come out and enjoy the family fun and support these local agencies that do so much for the people of our community. The more money that we raise during our annual campaign, the more funds that the United Way will be able to provide to these local community agencies.”

The local agencies supported by the Pike County United Way are the America Red Cross, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Boy Scouts of America, Colley Senior Complex, East Central Mental Health, Easter Seals, Four-H Clubs of Pike County, Girl Scouts of America Southern Area, House of Ruth, Organized Community Action Program, Pike County Child Advocacy Center, Pike County Historical Society, Pioneer Museum of Alabama, Retired Senior Volunteer Program, Salvation Army, Sav-a-Life and Troy Charity League.

Gibson said the downturn in the economy is continuing to have a negative impact on many charitable agencies.

“Last year, we were only able to raise $35,000 for the 17 agencies that are supported by the Pike County United Way,” Gibson said. “Some of the agencies were funded at only $600 and that doesn’t go very far. So, we hope that the community will come out on Aug. 30 and support those agencies that support our community.”