Chili Cook-off sets a record

Saturday, April 2, 2016

By EVAN HOLLEY

Staff Writer

The 2016 Mason Dixon Chili Society Chili Cook-Off was the most successful to date, raising approximately $16,000 for the United Gospel Rescue Mission.

The amount of money raised was over twice as much as in years past, according to Rev. Greg Kirk of the Rescue Mission.

After expenses, the Rescue Mission will receive roughly $13,000. This money will go to help financially disadvantaged persons in Butler County and, most specifically, Poplar Bluff.

"It will help fund people's utility deposits, it will feed 150 people every day, it will pay for help with our administrative costs," Kirk said, "This helps us continue to do the work we want to do."

After 11 years, the chili cook-off has become a favorite event among area residents, who showed up in record numbers this year. People look forward to the event all year, according to Kirk.

"People will start like next month, asking me 'When's that chili cook-off,'" Kirk said.

Kirk said that the community support is what makes everything he and the mission does possible.

"It wouldn't happen without Poplar Bluff," Kirk said, also emphasizing that all money raised stays right here in the area.

"We re-invest the money into Poplar Bluff. All the money that comes to the mission stays in Poplar Bluff," Kirk said.

Kirk and the Chili Society refuse to take credit for the event and give praise to the members of the community who participated and attended the event.

"Whatever it takes to make Poplar Bluff a better place. More things get done when nobody takes the credit," Kirk said.

Kirk said his priority at any fund-raising event is to make as many friends as possible, in the belief that that is the true secret to helping others.

"There's fund-raisers and there's friend-raisers and I like to raise friends more than funds," Kirk said.

For more information on the United Gospel Rescue Mission, contact Rev. Greg Kirk at 573-300-7170.

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