The Texas County Memorial Hospital Healthcare Foundation is gearing up for the fifth annual “Chili Cook Off.” This year’s event is Nov. 5 inside the community building at the Houston Area Chamber of Commerce Fairgrounds.
Jay Gentry, foundation director, is overseeing the chili cook off and related activities, which benefit TCMH Hospice of Care.
“In 2010, the foundation brought in over $58,000 for Hospice of Care,” he said. “We have started a tradition of holding an event that provides fun and entertainment for all ages and raises much needed funds for a really good cause.”
The TCMH Healthcare Foundation Chili Cook Off will feature 17 teams competing for chili prizes and raising money for Hospice of Care. The event will also include music, a live auction, mechanical bull, inflatable slide for kids, cake walk and booths with special foods or games as well as the opportunity to sample all the chili.
Chili cooking teams are comprised of five people and are sponsored by businesses and organizations. Participating are: Intercounty Electric Cooperative; Landmark Bank in Houston; Big Country 99; Houston Community Betterment YOUTH; Houston Future Business Leaders of America; The Animal Shelter of Texas County; Community Bank N.A. in Summersville; Raymondville United Methodist Church; VIP Properties; Houston Wal-Mart Supercenter; St. John’s Clinic-Houston; Rolla Technical Center Radiology Technologist Program; and Gentry Residential Treatment Center.
“There’s some healthy competition among our hospital departments, too,” Gentry said. “Dr. Rasmussen will be defending his ‘people’s choice’ chili title.”
Rasmussen’s group has won the award three years in a row.
The TCMH emergency medical services department and dietary department are participating in the cook off again in 2011. The hospital’s general surgeons, Dr. Charles Mueller and Dr. Rick Stubbs, have thrown their hats into the chili competition ring this year, too.
A live auction and UTV raffle will be one of the major portions of the fundraiser at the event.
Grace Manufacturing in Plato and S&H Farm Supply in Mountain Grove partnered together to donate the Club Car XRT-950 UTV to the foundation, which has been raffling tickets for the UTV to benefit Hospice of Care.
The UTV is four-wheel drive with a bench seat, windshield, hard top and metal dump bed. It has a value of $8,499. Tickets sell for $20 each or six tickets for $100. Only 1,000 raffle tickets will be sold for the UTV.
Mike and Tina Wilson have donated a Remington brand .30-.06 rifle, and raffle tickets are also being sold for it. The winning raffle tickets for the UTV and the gun will be drawn at 3 p.m. the day of the event.
The live auction portion is at 2 p.m. and features several local artists. Lanie Frick donated rodeo-themed paintings, and Barbara White gave a watercolor. Harold Mitchell of Houston made and donated a pie safe in honor of his mother who was in Hospice of Care service. Marian McKinney of McKinney Forge and Design Studio donated the copper pieces for the pie safe. Hand pieced quilts have been donated by Peggy Holder, Ann Berger, and Dorothy Perkins.
Other donated items in the auction include one locally raised beef; a five-day Caribbean cruise for two; a doggie day out; a spa basket; a white Christmas tree with blue trimming; and separate sports packages for the St. Louis Blues and the St. Louis Rams.
“Hospice of Care has a long tradition and a well-known reputation for providing physical, mental and spiritual care for terminally ill patients and their family members in Texas County and the surrounding area regardless of their ability to pay for the services,” Gentry said. “Many people look forward to the annual hospice fundraising event as a way to give back to a charity that has benefited them, their family or friends.”
Gentry noted that all the proceeds raised by the event remain in Texas County to benefit area residents.
The foundation has a special “Hospice Fund” where the cook off money and other donations to Hospice of Care are held. The foundation uses funds raised for Hospice of Care to provide an “on call” physician position for Hospice of Care patients to ensure that a physician is available 24/7 to Hospice of Care patients and to admit new ones into the Hospice of Care program whenever needed. Funds have also been used to purchase special equipment for the “hospice” rooms at the hospital.
Hospice of Care provides end of life care for patients and their families regardless of a patient’s ability to pay for the service. If insurance coverage is not available, Hospice of Care may use Chili Cook Off funds to purchase medications in addition to providing free care.
“Our goal is to raise at least $60,000 for Hospice of Care through the UTV raffle, cook off ticket sales, the auction and team fundraising,” Gentry said.
“A very important aspect of the annual Hospice of Care fundraising event is that all money raised at the event will stay in the Texas County area to benefit area patients,” Gentry said.
“We want everyone to come out to our event, bring their kids and have an afternoon of fun while raising money for a very worthy cause,” Gentry said. “Once again, the foundation board of directors and Hospice of Care staff are excited to bring this event to the community.”
Tickets to the event are $10 for adults and $5 for children. They are available through Hospice of Care and the healthcare foundation at TCMH.
For more information about a sponsorship or to make a gift in support of the event, contact the TCMH Healthcare Foundation at 417-967-1377 or online at www.tcmh.org.