Chili for Children

Bowl of Chili

The Wesley Foundation is hosting its annual Chili for Children fundraiser on Feb 4 at 1111 N. El Paso from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

All the proceeds go to the Age to Age program, which has served the Russellville community for over 30 years by reaching out to children who need mentors in their lives. The children in the Age to Age program typically come from single-parent, low-income families or children struggling in school.

“This is our biggest fundraiser for our program. All the money goes to the children we go on trips, offer to tutor, and plan fun activities for them,” Paul Crotts, director, said.

“Every year we do over 2,000 servings of chili, which takes a few days. Lots of cooking and cutting up beef, and we try to sell as much as we can,” Crotts said.

The fundraiser was only pickup last year due to COVID; however, this year the meal is in-person, with take-outs and some deliveries also available.

“We are taking all the precautions — wearing masks and gloves when cooking, and when we have the in-house day, we will be spaced out,” he said.

“We saw a decrease in our sales last year, and we are hoping to pick it back up this year,” Crotts said.

There are four types of chili: original, spicy, no beans and vegetarian. Each bowl is $8 and includes cookies.

“Coming together for the common good and being able to help out is the best part of this program and fundraiser,” Matt Cooper, a Wesley board member, said.

“I have been volunteering for years and have been a board member for five years now, and this fundraiser is what allows us to reach out to the community,” Copper added.

Over the years, due to the success of fundraising efforts, the Age to Age program has expanded.

“This is a worthwhile event, and each year it seems to get bigger with more days of cooking chili. I started volunteering because I wanted to help the kids in the town, and that is what this program shows, helping out a community,” volunteer Ron Knost said.

If anyone wants to volunteer or donate for the Chili for Children fundraiser, reach out to (479) 968-4159.