United Way Kickoff Tuesday

Published 3:00 am Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Pike County United Way will kick off its 2015 fundraising season from 5 until 7 p.m. Tuesday at The Emporium in downtown Troy.

The kickoff will feature the United Way’s annual Chili Cook-off with both a People’s Choice award winner and the Judges’ Blue Ribbon Award.

Tammy Powell, event chair, said the United Way Chili Cook-off is open to the public and will also include entries from each of the 17 local agencies served by the Pike County United Way.

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The entry fee for the Chili Cook-off is $25 and each entry should be “around” a gallon of the hot-peppered concoction.

“It’s a very high honor to win a blue ribbon at the Pike County United Way Chili Cook-off,” Powell said. “Bragging rights come with both the People’s Choice and the Judges’ Blue Ribbon awards. The Pike County United Way is encouraging individuals, churches, clubs and organization to put on a pot of their favorite chili and challenge these United Way agencies for these coveted awards.”

Voting for the People’s Choice Award is simple. Sample one pot of chili after the other and cast votes by tossing a dollar in the “pot.”

“Votes are only one dollar each and you can vote as many times as you would like and for as many different pots of chili as you would like,” Powell said. “Sometimes it’s difficult to decide so you can vote for as many as you like.”

The origin of chili can be traced back to the ancient cuisines of China, India, Indonesia, Italy, France, the Arab states and the Caribbean. But every true Texan claims to have chili running through their veins.

But Powell said not even Texas chili can compete with the chili that is entered in the United Way chili cook-off.

The Pike County United Way agencies that will be competing for the blue ribbons at this year’s chili cook-off are the American Red Cross, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pike County, Boy Scouts of America, Colley Senior Complex, East Central Mental Health, Easter Seals of Alabama, Girls Scouts of Southern Alabama, The House of Ruth, the Humane Society of Pike County, Organized Community Action Program, Pike County 4-H Clubs, Pike County Child Advocacy Center, Pioneer Museum of Alabama, Retired Senior Volunteer Program, Salvation Army, Sav-A-Life and the Troy Charity League.

In addition to the chili cook-off, everyone will be invited visit the different agencies’ information tables to learn more about the role these agencies play in Pike County.

“There aren’t many people in Pike County whose lives are not impacted, directly or indirectly, by one or more of these 17 United Way agencies,” Powell said.

Chili lovers will also be invited to try their luck in a 50-50 drawing at a dollar a ticket and to up the bid for an assortment of great items on the silent auction block.

The chili cook-off will also feature entertainment by the Colley Senior Complex line dancers and those who want to join in will be invited to do so.

Powell said the Girl Scouts will have games for the children so the Pike County United Way Chili Cook-off will have something for everyone.

All proceeds from the cook-off will benefit the local United Way agencies.

“All the money raised stays in our area so this is an opportunity for local people to support local agencies in a fun and filling way,” Powell said.