Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif. -- The Combat Center Fire Department hosted their 8th annual chili luncheon in their building Oct. 14.
The purpose of the event was to raise money that will be donated to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
“For the past eight years, the fire department here hosted a chili luncheon to raise money for charity in general such as the American Red Cross and the Ronald McDonald House,” said Michael Phelps, fire inspector. “This year, our purpose is specified toward Hurricane Katrina victims. Thanks to the help from our corporate sponsors, we will be able to make a significant donation.”
For a small price, Combat Center personnel who came to the event enjoyed bowls of chili, hot dogs, popcorn, snow cones, cotton candy, soft drinks, and the children who came to the event enjoyed the Jupiter Jump. Fire department personnel also had T-shirts for sale.
Tickets for chili and hotdogs went on sale three weeks prior to the event. Tickets were $1 in advance and $2 at the door.
“Almost 2,000 tickets were sold before [the luncheon],” said Phelps. “Last year we made roughly $2,100 for donations. This year we expect the same or even more.”
The event coincided with fire prevention week. School-aged children from Twentynine Palms, Calif., visited the fire department to learn about fire prevention and to tour the building. Between 500 to 600 children have come in already, said Phelps.
“The chili was made from scratch,” said Darlene Hull, assistant fire chief and coordinator of the event. “Approximately 110 gallons were prepared for the event. The Naval Hospital stored the pots of chili and heated it for us.”
The chili was popular amongst all who attended.
“This was some really good chili,” said Staff. Sgt. JohnPaul F. Cooley, administration chief, Headquarters Company, Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School. “It tastes even better knowing the event is for a great cause.”
At the end of the event, all who joined to eat chili left with a full stomach and the fire department was left with an ample amount of money to assist the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
The fire department served 813 bowls of chili, 431 hot dogs and 80 snow cones and cotton candy. Roughly $2,000 was made in proceeds, said Hull.