The seventh annual Chili Cook Off to raise funds for Texas County Memorial Hospital Hospice of Care is today.
Jay Gentry, director of the TCMH Healthcare Foundation, is overseeing the event, which will be held inside the community building at the Houston Area Chamber of Commerce Fairgrounds. The event runs 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
“In 2012 the foundation brought in over $70,000 for Hospice of Care,” Gentry 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 Chili Cook Off will feature 14 teams competing for chili prizes and in raising money for Hospice of Care. The event will also includes music, a, auction, a chili dog eating contest, an inflatable slide and face painting for kids, a 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. Sponsoring teams are: Intercounty Electric Cooperative; Landmark Bank in Houston; Big Country 99; Community Bank N.A. in Summersville; Raymondville United Methodist Church; Houston Walmart Supercenter; Mercy Clinic-Houston; Houston High School administration; Kerr Healthcare Services; Forbes Pharmacy; The Durham Co.; Gentry Residential Treatment Center, Dr. Jonathan Beers; and Dr. Lynn Hauenstein.
Three TCMH departments are also participating — the EMS department, the medical surgical department; and Home Health of the Ozarks.
“There’s some healthy competition among our hospital departments, too,” Gentry said. “TCMH EMS will be defending their “Chili with the Most Kick” title.
A live auction will begin at 2 p.m. as the biggest fundraising part of the day. It will feature many local artists.
Dawn Maxey of Idle Hands donated a six-room dollhouse. Lanie Frick contributed four oil paintings, and Barbara White donated a watercolor. Harold Mitchell of Houston made and donated a pie safe in honor of his mother, who was in Hospice of Care service. A queen-size hand pieced quilt has been donated by Peggy Holder and Ann Berger.
Other donated items in the auction include one locally raised beef; a five-day stay at a cabin in the Smoky Mountains; a Christmastime trip to Springfield to see Manheim Steamroller; and an overnight sports package for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Several large raffle items will also be awarded to winners. All of the chili cook off teams are raffling tickets for a Bad Boy ZT 60 Elite riding lawn mower and a Ruger 22LR Takedown rifle. They will be immediately awarded following the live auction.
“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.”
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 care at no charge.
“Our goal is to raise at least $60,000 for Hospice of Care through the raffles, cook off ticket sales, the auction and team fundraising,” Gentry said. “Proceeds from the Chili Cook Off remain in Texas County to benefit area residents.”
The foundation has a special “Hospice Fund” for the chili cook off money and other hospice donations such as memorials. “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 are $10 for adults and $5 for children and available through Hospice of Care and the foundation at TCMH. For more information about a sponsorship or to make a gift in support of the chili cook off, contact the TCMH Healthcare Foundation at 417-967-1377 or online at www.tcmh.org.