Letter: Chili contest enjoyed widespread support
On Oct. 15, the Piankatank Community League held a Chili Cook-Off to raise funds for local charities and especially the Book Buddy Project. Since this was our first time holding this event, we didn’t know what to expect. However, I was pleasantly surprised how well it turned out. The success of the Chili Cook-Off can be attributed to the hard work of the league volunteers who distributed flyers, purchased supplies, decorated the facility, donated baked goods and hand-made prizes, and worked the day of the event. A hearty thank you goes out to those who cooked chili: Sheriff Steve Gentry, Shannon Ackley, Winona Pearson, Dr. John Partin, Ricky Kurtz, Stephanie Altland, Stacie Foley, Gladys Clark, and Donald Austin. These folks and their teams filled the facility with not only tasty chili, but also table decorations, costumes, and enthusiasm that delighted everyone.
I am grateful to the local businesses who gave monetary donations (Gloucester-Mathews Gazette-Journal, World Wide Rail, Ollie’s, Food Lion-Saluda) and to league members and citizens who gave money because they wanted to help sponsor the Book Buddy Project. Thank you to Connie Smith for providing musical entertainment during the day. A big thank you goes to our first-prize winner, Sheriff Steve Gentry, who graciously gave back his winnings to support the Book Buddy Project. And most of all, thank you to customers who supported the league’s fundraiser. The event couldn’t have been a success without those who bought tickets to sample chili.
Although the community league is a small organization, we have a dedicated membership who does whatever they can to support the county and our neighbors in the Harcum area. One of our big focuses during the year is supporting the Gloucester Fire and Rescue volunteers by hosting a covered-dish dinner twice a year. Funds we raise during the year support that event. In addition, the league funds the Book Buddy Project for students at Petsworth Elementary School. The league donates gift bags of books to selected students to encourage reading at home. Over the four years of conducting the project, it has become very popular with the students and the reading resource teachers. Our members would love to expand the project to include more students and hopefully, one day we will raise enough money to make it possible to give even more books.
During this Thanksgiving season, I can’t express enough how grateful I am for everyone who supports the league.
Susan M. Malcolm, president
Piankatank Community League