Cowboys and chili beans typically go hand in hand, but what about in the hands of Santa Claus? The Elkland Lions Club will be hosting a Chili Cook Off on Dec 4 at 5pm. The club will receive a visit from a cowboy Santa Claus and will be dining on chili that evening instead of his regular feast of cookies.
Kaylene Marcum, Elkland Lion Club’s Media Coordinator, is encouraging her neighbors and Lions Club members to prepare their favorite chili recipes to raise money for the community. The proceeds are donated to support a person or family in need.
Last year's event was canceled due to COVID, however the organization was able to fundraise $600 to help a member in the Elkland community.
“We had an elderly gentleman who we helped with food and utilities,” explained Marcum. “We worked with the Hannah’s General Store in Elkland to prepay food for the gentleman and paid $300 in advance towards his electric bill. Years before we have bought entire Christmas meals and toys for families with children.”
To enter the competition, all one must do is bring a pot of chili. Every dollar equals a vote, the most votes wins. Marcum notes that there will also be prizes and auctioned items to help with their fundraising efforts.
“To also raise money during the Chili Cook-off , we have members bring baked goods and crafts,” added Marcum. “Evelyn Cunningham crotched a beautiful throw with the Lions Club colors, which will be auctioned off that evening. Evelyn is also bringing prizes, many of which are some of her crotched goods and other purchased items to hand out to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners.”
As for their special guest, the club’s vice president, Steve Havner, will dress up as a cowboy Santa Claus to hopefully help rein in new members. Visitors and children have the opportunity to snap a photo with Santa and have them printed on site.
Marcum is thrilled about the kindling of old and new connections generated by these types of events.
“I am looking forward to visiting with everybody. Meeting local people and seeing friends we don’t get a chance to talk to during the year,” said Marcum. “But especially helping the Christmas family. Witnessing the generosity and compassion from all the local people pitching in is amazing.”
In addition to fundraising, Marcum aims to generate new members and opportunities for the club.
“We have been very lucky in the last couple years with growth,” said Marcum. “It has blown me away with so many people attending our meetings compared to years past.”
If interested in joining or participating in the Chili Cook Off, visit the Elkland Lion Club Facebook page.
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