DeKalb firefighters to host chilli cook-off

By Faith Healy

Instead of putting out fires, the Dekalb Firefighters Local 1236 will be turning up the heat at its Chilli Cook-off this Sunday.

The cook-off will be held from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m Sunday at Sullivan’s Tavern, 722 E. Lincoln Highway.

The money raised at the cook-off will go to the DeKalb County American Red Cross, which solely relies on donations to operate and provide services for DeKalb.

Anyone is welcome to enter his or her chili in the event. Those looking to participate need to register and pay a $25 entrance fee. Prize money, provided by Sullivan’s Tavern, will be awarded to the winners. The prize for first place is $125, second place is $50 and third place is $25.

DeKalb Firefighter Noah Millard said the organization will also raffle off Inboden’s meat trays and several turkeys donated by the local Jewel, 1320 Sycamore Road, and Schnucks, 975 S. Annie Glidden Road.

“We have never donated to the Red Cross before so we decided to have a fundraiser for Red Cross,” Millard said. “This will be a great opportunity to give to the [Red Cross representatives] who are up at 2 a.m. while we are putting out a fire giving us coffee.”

Sullivan’s Tavern Owner Greg Sullivan said the business wanted to help with the cause.

“All the proceeds go to the Red Cross and the firefighters needed a place to host it and we opted to [do it],” Sullivan said.

Millard said DeKalb Firefighters Local 1236 wants to help the Red Cross because the organization has been struggling financially lately since it is not eligible for state or federal funding.

“All non-profits are struggling,” said Michelle Emmett, executive director of the DeKalb County Chapter of the American Red Cross. “The struggling economy has had a large impact on people’s ability to give.”

Emmett said the Red Cross has special relationships with all first responders, but especially with the firefighters. The Red Cross is called when there is a fire not only to help the people who are affected by the fire, but also the firefighters.

“It is such a great relationship,” Emmett said. “We are thrilled they want to do this for us.”