Flamborough Women’s Resource Centre Rural Outreach and Counselling Co-ordinator Shannon Hamar (left), the Chili Guy and Community Programs Manager Sue Taylor will be chowing down at Chili Fest on Tues., Sept. 26 in support of a good cause. – Julia Lovett/Metroland
A treat for tastebuds is coming to Waterdown and it’s sure to spice up your life.
The fifth annual Flamborough Women’s Resource Centre (FWRC) Chili Fest is back and will once again be hosted at the Waterdown Legion on Tuesday, Sept. 26.
“The community’s embracing it more and more. Those that have been to it are like wanting to come back,” said Sandy Gray, one of the event organizers.
The annual fundraiser is a chili cook off that pits restaurant owners against each other to compete in different categories such as “Best Classic Chili” and “Best Homestyle Chili,” and while the chili chefs are mum on their recipes, Gray said the night always delivers.
“We just want to see the community … out to the event and having a good time and you wanna hear the chatter afterwards,” she said.
The event will once again be held at Branch 551 located at 79 Hamilton St. N., and so far, 11 restaurants have confirmed.
According to Sue Taylor, manager of community programs with Interval House of Hamilton, this fundraiser serves as a way to have fun by supporting a good cause but also helps to address the issues of why it’s needed in the first place.
“Each year, we not only see an increase in the number of women that we serve, but we’re also seeing an increase in the complexity of barriers that women are experiencing,” she said.
Taylor explained that with the continued support of the community through events like Chili Fest and others like it, they are able to keep the FWRC viable.
“That’s going to include everything from our counselling as well as our employment, our legal advocacy and our housing support,” Taylor added.
Last year’s Chili Fest raised a total of $22,000 for the resource centre — $2,000 more than their planned goal. This year, they raised the bar to $25,000 and invite everyone to come out and try the good eats. The event will run from 4 to 8 p.m., and will have raffles, a cash bar, prizes and a kids’ zone. Everyone who attends will receive four different half bowls of chili to try, discuss and vote on but for those feeling famished or even just a little adventurous, you may purchase extra servings for $2.50 each. Tickets for this smorgasbord are $10 in advance, $15 at the door and $5 for children.
This year, confirmed restaurants include Harrington Lane Farms, Earth to Table, Bo’s Sports Bar, Flamboro Downs, Copper Kettle Café, Cascata Bistro, Boston Pizza, Dutch Mill, Izabel’s European Restaurant, Wildhagen Greenhouses and Roseto Catering.
“We really gotta thank all the local businesses that have stepped up and sponsored us and provided prizes and, you know, it wouldn’t happen without them that’s for sure,” said Gray, noting that the community’s participation is also what drives the event to stay active year after year.
Taylor, in her first year in her manager position, has noticed that Flamborough is a “collective community” and people believe in helping one another and that’s why the resource centre has support and an event like Chili Fest has grown more and more popular every year.
“There’s a sense of peace out here, a sense of peace and a sense of collectiveness.”
One of the options available to people this year who wish to help but may not be able to able to attend the event is that they can buy tickets and donate them to families who want to go but can’t afford them, said the ladies at the centre, adding that is still a way to take part in supporting FWRC.
Meanwhile, Shannon Hamar, FWRC rural outreach and counselling co-ordinator, said that attendees are in for a treat as there will be a mix of meat in the chili’s presented.
“There is a range for all pallets,” she said.
“Even if you don’t like chili, it’s such a great event to go to … like it’s for all ages, have a good time, there’s going to be live music, there’s raffle prizes, like it’s just a fun family event,” said Hamar.
Tickets are available at FWRC, Harrington Lane Farms, Hello Gorgeous, Birmingham, Kinstruct, Roseto, Grasshopper, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Ward 15 Coun. Judi Partridge’s office, Women’s Centre of Hamilton and Interval House.
For more information, call 289-895-8580 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.