Its time to find out who makes the best chili in Saline County during the CASA of Saline County Chili for Children event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Benton Event Center.
CASA is Court Appointed Special Advocates, and the organization's director Pete Weber said this is a major fundraiser for the advocacy group.
"(CASA) ensures that a child who is in the foster care system due to abuse or neglect has a voice and someone to look out for the best interests of the the child," Weber said.
He is excited for this year's Chili for Children event. So far, 11 teams have signed up to compete. CASA is still accepting more teams to join the event. Teams that sign up will need to bring their chili, ladle, power strip and extension cord, plus their booth decorations and anything they might plan to serve with the chili. The cost to enter a chili is $50.
CASA will provide water and the typical toppings for chili such as sour cream and cheese.
Along with the chili, CASA will have a silent auction featuring desserts and other items to bid on including a two-night stay in Cedarwood Lodge, a stay at Mountain Harbor Resort, costume jewelry, a Scentsy basket and gift cards to local businesses.
Two snow cone vendors are schedule to be set up outside of the venue selling their frozen treats.
This year CASA added a bounce house for the children who attend, plus there will be hot dogs for any children who don't like chili.
Weber said these changes, plus moving it to before school starts, were in an effort to make Chili for Children a more child-friendly event for whole families to enjoy.
The competitors will be teams from local businesses and organizations. They will compete for Best Chili, Best Booth and Most Popular Chili. Best Chili will be determined by a team of three local celebrity judges. Most Popular will be decided by voters putting money in teams jars.
Weber said any additional awards depend on who takes part in the event.
Diners will be able to sample the various chilis and get a bowl to go back for more of their favorites.
Weber said Chili for Children is a great event for a great cause.
"There is nothing more important we can do than make sure children have a voice and future and a positive loving home," he said.
This year's sponsors for Chili for Children are Camp Ozark, Riggs CAT, Fiser Development/ Olde Salem Township, Ward Team Reality, Finley Pharmacy, West Side Pharmacy, Jacor Construction, Hurricane Creek Federal Credit Union, Alcoa Community Federal Credit Union, Skylark Manor, Summit Community Club and Kiwanis Club of Saline County.
Tickets are $10 each and can be bought at the door. Children age 12 and younger get in free.
To learn more about CASA of Saline County and the work its advocates do, visit www.salinecountycasa.org.