Dr. Rodney Knuckles stands in victory at the end of the chili dog eating contest in 2018

The Texas County Memorial Hospital Healthcare Foundation is preparing for the 13th annual Chili Cook Off that runs 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Saturday, Nov. 9, in the community building at the Houston Chamber of Commerce Fairgrounds.

The event raises funds to benefit TCMH Hospice of Care.  Jay Gentry, foundation director, is overseeing it. Progressive Ozark Bank is the corporate underwriter again this year.

“Starting with our first cook off in 2007, Progressive Ozark Bank stepped up in a big way to help kick things off,” Gentry said. “They have continued to support the event each year and we are truly grateful for their understanding of what Hospice of Care means to the community.”

The Chili Cook Off will include 15 teams competing for six different titles. Attendees will have the opportunity to sample all the chili. The event will also include other entertainment such as live music by the band Chrome 45, a live auction and booths with special food or games.

Chili Cook Off teams consist of five people and are sponsored by business, organizations and people in the area. Houston Walmart Supercenter, Justin Shelby and State Farm Insurance, Houston R-1 Schools, Raymondville United Methodist Church, The Durham Co.,  Penmac Staffing, The Bank of Houston, Dr. Selina Jeanise, Texas County 911. Air Evac LifeTeam, Landmark Bank, Brad and Melanie Evans, Dr. Doug Crase, Dr. Bart Shaw and Drury University are sponsoring teams.

The band Chrome 45, formed in 2016, is comprised of Tim Henderson, Josh York and Andrew Stockard. The three, all Houston natives, met in high school, and Henderson and York have been playing together in various bands for the past 11 years.

 “We play a wide array of genres from the 1950s to the 2000s, but we are primarily a classic rock cover band,” Henderson said.

 “Both of my parents and Josh’s mom worked for TCMH for many years, and we all have deep connections to this community,” Henderson said. “We are honored to be able to play a show for an event that benefits such a good cause.”

A live auction, a major portion of the day’s fundraising, will be held at 2 p.m. and features handmade and donated items.

Chili Cook Off teams are raffling tickets for a Kawasaki Mule utility vehicle and a Mossberg Patriot .243 Winchester. The raffle items will be awarded immediately following the live auction.

Brandon Beck, meteorologist at the Springfield television station KY3, will again serve as the master of ceremonies.

 “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 the 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. Hospice of Care also uses funds from the cook off for palliative care training and materials for patients and the family and friends of hospice patients.

Last year, the event raised more than $53,000 for Hospice of Care, well above the set goal.

 “We hope to raise $40,000 with this year’s event,” Gentry said, noting that the proceeds remain in Texas County to benefit area residents.

 “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 10 and under. They are available at the gate or through the Hospice of Care and the foundation at TCMH.

For more information about a sponsorship or to give a gift in support of the Chili Cook Off, contact the TCMH Healthcare Foundation at 417- 967-1377 or online at www.tcmh.org.


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