Faculty members of the Dallas County Family Resource Center and Leadership Class XVIII present a check for $6,000. --Ashley Johnson
Faculty members of the Dallas County Family Resource Center and Leadership Class XVIII present a check for $6,000. -- Ashley Johnson

Chili Cook-Off is again one spicy gift, benefits resource center

Published 9:06pm Thursday, May 9, 2013

The 2nd annual Alabama River Chili Cookoff spent all of its spices back in March when 27 teams competed for the best tasting dish in a family-fun atmosphere on Water Avenue. But the cookoff organizers, members of the Leadership Class XVIII, still had not spent the money raised for The Dallas County Family Resource Center.

Thursday the group presented a check to the center, which warranted gasps and cheers from the staff members when they saw the check was written for $6,000.

“Even if this money wasn’t raised for us, we would still support you because the Chili Cookoff just unifies the whole community under one umbrella for something to focus on that is positive in the community,” Donna Long, the executive director for the Family Resource Center said during the check presentation.

Long said the money raised would go towards several expenses the Family Resource Center pays out of their general fund budget rather than through government programming.

The $6,000 will help them pay for a youth workforce development program, “to help us financially in some of the expenses that are not covered by the program budget,” Long said. “So you are actually sowing right back into the workforce community.”

The extra funds will help the center continue to help families in emergency situations like when houses burn down or flood, the resource center works to get them on their feet.

Leslie Free, the co-chair for this year’s Chili Cookoff, said she presented the idea of raising money for the Dallas County Family Resource Center to her leadership class because she felt the community needed to know about the resources available at the center. The Alabama Chili Cookoff selects a new charitable foundation to raise money for each year.

“This is a great charity and they do a lot of great things for the community and they have a lot of resources,” Free said. “But they don’t have a lot of money to help others, and that’s what they are here for.”

Free said she felt there were a lot of people in the Dallas County community who, “just don’t know that all of this, all of these resources, are here for them.”

The Dallas County Family Resource Center is located on U.S. Highway 80 West, in the adjoining building of Alagasco. The center operates to be a place where residents can come and learn of the different programs already available to them and gain more information.

Members of the Leadership Class XVIII said they increased the amount of money raised by at least 20 percent at their second annual event, and they hope to do the same in 2014 — for whichever charity they select.

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