Chili needed for fire fundraiser

By Hank Lohmeyer

Organizers of the annual Five Alarm Chili Cookoff fundraiser for the Cedaredge Volunteer Fire Department are asking the community to be extra thoughtful this year and prepare a pot of chili to donate for the Thursday, Oct. 1 event.

This hugely popular community chilifest requires lots of chili to satisfy area residents who want to participate in tasting the various offerings and make a generous donation to the department's firefighters.

Last year's event was so popular that supplies of donated chili dishes to serve community supporters ran critically low. Some said that the chili "ran out," and that is an occurrence no one wants to see happen ever again.

The Five Alarm Chili Cook-off has long been the biggest fundraiser for the department firefighters, and for over a decade it was the only real, community-wide fundraising event for the department volunteers. The volunteer fire department that trains professionally and that uses the fire trucks and other equipment to keep local families and property safe comprises a separate organization from the county's Fire District #3. Firefighters need every dime they can raise in order to buy expensive safety gear and other necessary equipment.

The Five Alarm Chili Cook-off will be held this year on Thursday, Oct. 1 at the firehouse. Donations of a pot of favorite chili -- red, green, homemade, or whatever -- can be brought to the fire house from 1 p.m. that day. If you have to drop yours off earlier in the day, that will be OK, too, organizers say.

Donations of chili do not have to be entered in the cook-off judging which begins at 4 p.m. followed by service to the public starting at 5 p.m.