Kiwanis Club chili cook-off adds spice to nonprofit fundraising

January 23, 2019 | 3:00 am

Updated January 22, 2019 | 9:40 pm

Graphic by Owensboro Times

Three years ago, Kiwanis Club of Owensboro wanted to change their annual fundraiser from their yearly silent auction at the mall. While raising funds for their own organization, Kiwanis decided to spice things up by including the local nonprofits they serve in the fundraiser.

“We decided to do a chili cook-off because who doesn’t love showcasing their chili recipe?” said Sarah Hulsey, club president.

According to Hulsey, the cook-off between the participating nonprofit organizations should prove to be a fun competitive way for the various non-profits to be involved and also gain exposure of their mission.

“They sell tickets to the event at just $10 each, and they get to keep 100 percent of their ticket sale proceeds,” Hulsey explained.

Entry into the event gets community supporters a chili dinner including hot dogs and drinks, along with live music by local artists and a silent auction featuring over 100 items.

“Silent auction items will range from local restaurant gift cards to large furniture items that seem to always attract a lot of community members,” Hulsey said.

As the Kiwanis mission is to “help kids around the world,” the event is absolutely family friendly.

“Last year we had a children’s table with crafts, and tickets for children 12 and under are actually free,” said Hulsey. “We’re incredibly grateful to our title sponsor, Independence Bank for their support and help in making this a success.”

Applications from non-profits to participate in the chili cook-off are now being accepted.

“We are capping it at 20 nonprofits this year due to space limitations. We did send out letters to previous non-profit participants but we also want to spread the word on social media and open it up to any nonprofit interested on a first come, first served basis,” she said. “Not only do nonprofits have an opportunity to raise money for their mission through the tickets they sell, we also have first, second, and third place chili cook-off winners. We have local celebrity judges from Owensboro and winners of those divisions get cash prizes.”

The event, which is anticipated to have over 400 in attendance, is very laid back with casual attire.

“I think it’s a great way for people in the community to get involved with local non-profits. To have the opportunity to learn about them, assist them financially, or potentially volunteer of their time, that’s something I really enjoy seeing come out of this each year.” Hulsey said. “When you’re more aware, you’re more likely to volunteer or help out.”

For more information on the Feb. 23 chili cook-off, visit the Kiwanis Club Facebook page.

January 23, 2019 | 3:00 am

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