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Chili cook-off to benefit Jemison FFA Alumni

By Angela Hayes | Special to the Advertiser

Calling all cooks and chili connoisseurs.

The Second Annual Jemison FFA Alumni Chili Dinner and Cook Off with Silent Auction will be held from 5-7 p.m. Saturday at Jemison City Hall.

$7 at the door will get you all the chili and crackers you can eat, with dessert and drinks available and sold separately for $1 each.

A non-profit organization, Jemison FFA Alumni members have come together to take on the responsibility of providing scholarships for high school seniors entering the agriculture, agri-science, or agri-business field upon graduation and to help the Jemison FFA student officers attend the National FFA Convention.

When looking for fundraising ideas last year, the group stumbled upon the idea of a chili cook-off. To make it more enticing, they added the silent auction.

It has since become their biggest fundraiser, with several businesses throughout Chilton County donating to the auction and event.

Impact Catering and Design will donate 100 cupcakes for dessert, Jemison Auto will donate tools and Allen Short will donate a dump truck load of gravel; and there will be door wreaths and a pair of Jonathan Adler sunglass from Columbiana Eye Care.

Funds from last years’ cook-off enabled the group to provide two $1,000 scholarships. It is a goal they hope to meet and surpass this year.

“We invite everyone to come out and join us,” Jemison FFA Alumni Bridgett Smith said. “It’s a great family event and a good supper. Where else can you eat for $7 a piece?”

From trucking to the growing of cotton for clothes to an interest in alternative fuels, the impact the FFA has both nationally and worldwide cannot be underestimated.

“I don’t think many realize how much of their livelihood is tied to agriculture,” President Harlan Brasher said. “Agriculture feeds and sustains America. It’s unreal the amount of jobs that are tied to agriculture.”

To enter your chili, stop by Jemison Auto Parts to fill out an entry form (name, age, and chili name) and to pay the $20 entry free.

With Student and Adult divisions, the cook-off is open to all groups.

Entries will be judged based on presentation, taste and “heat.”

Trophies will be awarded to the top three winners in the Student and Adult divisions.

All entries must be at city hall and ready for judging by 4:30 p.m. Saturday. They may be made according to the amount in the recipe and may be brought in whatever container the chili tastes best in.

This year’s judges are Joe Mims, Mildred Ellison and Betty Giles.

To claim your silent auction item, you must have a working telephone number. To donate an item to the silent auction, contact an FFA Alumni member for a tax form or pick up.

For additional information, call Bridgett Smith, FFA Alumni secretary, at (205) 389-6038.