2018 Chili Judges

During the 2018 Chili for Children chili cook off, the event's three judges, Sen. Kim Hammer, left, Commissioner of State Lands Tommy Land and Shane Broadway, vice president of government relations for Arkansas State University, taste the various entries to determine the best chili. This year's Chili for Children will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 6 at the Benton Event Center. 

The Court Appointed Special Advocates of Saline County is currently looking for businesses, organizations and individuals to put their best chili against other competitors to see who has the best tasting chili in Saline County during the annual Chili for Children chili cook off from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6, at the Benton Event Center. 

"This is a our annual fundraiser for CASA," Director Pete Weber said. 

He explained CASA is a nonprofit organization that recruits and trains volunteers to be the voice for children in the courtroom while they are in the foster system.

"We are all about making sure these children are represented and their best interests are represented through the court process," Weber said.

Webber added that he can't "share the gospel of CASA" enough. He is available to speak at organization meetings and events about what CASA is and why it is so important in the  community. 

During Chili for Children, Webber expects to have a variety of chilis for those who attend the event to taste. In years past there have been traditional chilis, deer chilis, white chicken chilies, vegetarian chilis and more. 

There will also be a silent auction and inflatables. CASA also plans to have hot dogs available for children who may not eat chili. 

The cost is $50 to enter a chili in the competition, with proceeds going to CASA. Webb said entrants can make any type of chili they choose. 

Each entrant will need to bring at least one crockpot full of chili, though they can bring more, a ladle to serve with and any decorations they use for their booth. 

CASA will provide the fixings, napkins and tasting cups. 

In addition to being judged based on chili, each booth will also be judged on how it is decorated. 

"We encourage people to come up with their own theme," Weber said. 

They also need to bring a power strip and extension cords if they need to plug up anything. 

A panel of judges will select the best chili. Most popular chili will be based on cash donations from those who attend. 

Weber said other categories depend on how many booths sign up to participate. 

To sign up for a booth, individuals and organizations can visit www.salinecountycasa.org or email Weber at director@salinecountycasa.org

CASA is also seeking additional sponsors and silent auction items for the event. Sponsorships range from $100 to $1,000. Anyone who wishes to sponsor can go online to register or email Weber. 

The sponsors so far are Camp Ozark, Finley Pharmacy, Hurricane Creek Federal Credit Union and Alcoa Community Federal Credit Union. 

CASA will also be collecting peanut butter for the Arkansas Food Bank during the event. 

Weber said he expects this year's Chili for Children to be a fun event for both those who come to eat and those who offer up their chilis for judging. 

Chili for Children will be an all-you-can-eat event. Attendees can sample all the chilis up for competition. 

Tickets to attend Chili for Children are $10 for adults and free for children age 12 and under. They can be purchased online or at the door. 

"It is a great way to come and share great food and a great atmosphere and support children who are underserved," Weber said. 

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