Chili Jacket event looking for vendors, sponsors

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Brandon Champion is new to Carroll County, but that doesnt mean hes waiting to join the community.

Champion reported last week that he has organized a coat drive called Chili Jackets, scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 4, at Best Western Inn of the Ozarks Convention Center.

The fundraiser will feature a chili cook-off, where vendors can pay $30 to enter their chili in the contest. Champion said hes already working with local restaurants to have a presence at the event, which will benefit underprivileged children enrolled in the Eureka Springs School District. Those interested in tasting the chili, Champion said, will need to donate $15 at the door or donate a new coat.

I just want as many people as possible to come together. Eureka Springs is where I want to start, but if we exceed it, I want to branch out to Berryville and Green Forest to help as many kids as we can, Champion said.

Its very important, Champion said, that the jackets are new.

They have to be new. I dont want the children to feel like theyre getting secondhand stuff, Champion said. I just dont want them to feel like theyre being singled out.

If everything goes as planned, Champion said, he will have 10-15 entries in the chili cook-off. The person who makes the best pot of chili, he said, will receive a chili championship belt.

All you have to do is donate $30 to the cause and just touch base with me, Champion said. Ill get your name on the list. Well get you a little sign on your table.

Champion, who moved to Carroll County six months ago, said he organized the fundraiser because its the right thing to do.

I woke up one morning and felt it in my heart. I felt like God steered me toward it, Champion said. Its just something Im passionate about. Id love for it to be a success.

This is the first time hes organized an event like this, Champion said.

Ive never done anything like this. Im feeling kind of nervous, but I think how I feel in my heart thats going to win over my nervousness and its going to be a success, Champion said. I think we can help a lot of kids around here, and Im ready for it.

He continued, The price of admission is $15. Youd pay that at a nice restaurant for dinner, and youll be able to sample the best chili in the area. Its a great cause. Youll donate a jacket to a kid and maybe one day youll be fortunate enough to see them wearing that jacket.

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