United Way kicks off annual campaign

Friday, October 1, 2010

The United Way of Vernon County began their 2010 fundraising efforts with a breakfast held at the Nevada Senior Center on Wednesday, Sept. 29. Supporters and representatives of 18 participating agencies were welcomed by President Adam Dean before the buffet style breakfast.

After the meal, Dean introduced the Board of Directors and invited each participating group to share a little bit about what they do and how the United Way funds help their organization. All of the groups are based locally except The Children's Mercy Hospital, but they serve many residents of the county. This year's fundraising goal of $112,000 was announced. All of the funds raised by the Vernon County office of the United Way goes to the agencies participating in the county effort.

The upcoming annual fundraising event, Oktoberfest, was discussed and everyone was urged by Gary Ashby of Kansas City Power and Light Company to come out, "bring your families" and have fun. This year's Oktoberfest will be held Saturday, Oct. 9 in the grass lot on the corner of Walnut and Washington streets.

All participating agencies will have booths set up, but it is not to late to register for space. Those interested in booth space should call the Vernon County United Way office at (417) 667-5563.

This year's event will feature vendors, entertainment and the ever popular chili cook-off. The entertainment will begin at 10 a.m. with Mike Wilman's Retro Radio. Wilman is one of Kansas City's highly ranked and most popular DJs. Wilman will serve as Emcee for Oktoberfest 2010 events.

The Crossroads Community Church Group will follow Wilman, and Ike Richmond will entertain the crowd until the pet costume contest, sponsored by the Vernon County People for Pets, begins at 12 p.m. Pet registration must be completed by 11:15 a.m. After the pet contest, a variety of music will be provided by Dan Divine, Doug Harper and Matt Harper until 1:30.

The chili cook-off is perhaps the most popular event of the day. It is always a hit, according to Peggy Tedlock of the Vernon County United Way. Check in time for the contest begins at 7:30 a.m. There is no fee to enter, but contestants must check in prior to beginning any cooking. Check in requirements are simple: contestants must check in with a minimum of 5 pounds of uncooked meat!

No electricity will be provided. Contestants must provide all of their cooking supplies like grills, utensils and ingredients as well as tables and chairs. All food preparation and cooking must be done at the cook site.

The contest cooking requirements are: Chili must reach and maintain a temperature of 140 degrees. Temperature will be checked prior to judging. Judging will begin at 11:00 a.m. Chili will be judged on the following criteria: aroma, appearance (consistency and color), taste and aftertaste. Contestants will be given a numbered bowl which must be delivered to the judges table at 11 a.m.

The chili cook-off is again sponsored by Missouri Eagle LLC, and cash prizes will be awarded to the first three places. The first place entry will receive $100 and a trophy. Second place wins $50, and third place will take home $25. The chili will be sold in a take home bowl for $3, a taster's bowl for $3 and a 12 ounce bowl will cost $2.

For more information on the Oktoberfest contact the Vernon County office of the United Way at (417) 667-5563. Information and registration for the chili cook-off is available by contacting Angie Nichols, 18803 South 1497 Road, Nevada, MO 64772 or calling (417) 667-8444. Entries may be submitted by mail, telephone or e-mail.

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