A pot of warm chili can sooth hunger on a frigid winter’s day. It can lure friends to gather for a night of camping or watching a football game. A pot of chili can also offer comfort to a child grieving the loss of her grandmother, a daughter watching her father’s life reach its end or a husband holding for the last time the hand of his ailing wife. That’s because the annual Hospice of Limestone County Chili Challenge and Silent Auction funds services such as Camp Hope, a bereavement program for children who have lost loved ones. It also funds in-home respite workers, indigent care that is non-funded care and non-Hospice bereavement counseling. Hospice of Limestone County Executive Director Pat King said this is the only non-profit Hospice operating in Limestone County, and it services about 40 patients a month.
“This is our only fundraiser, and the community has been loyal in its support of us,” King said. During the event, 32 challengers tempt ticketholders with their various chili concoctions, vying for bragging rights for People’s Choice. A panel of judges, which this year will include Spirit of Athens Director Trisha Black and WHNT’s Dion Hose, choose winners for Best Group, Best Individual and Best Booth. “I am as impressed with some of the booth designs as I am the chili recipes,” said Chili Challenge Chairwoman Amanda Speegle. “Limestone County has some talented people, and I enjoy seeing what they will name their chili and how they will decorate their booth to coincide with the name.” In addition to the chili, there is a silent auction where ticketholders can bid on items ranging from toys to sports memorabilia, to art, to outdoor gear, to vacations. This year’s event is sponsored in part by Morell Engineering and AAA Mini-Storage. “I appreciate the community for coming out and supporting the event, and I cannot stress enough how much I appreciate the volunteers behind the scenes who volunteer so many hours to make this event a success,” Speegle said. “We are blessed to live in such a caring community.”
The community in turn is blessed to receive the care of Hospice of Limestone County.
By: Holly Hollman