Cookoff pays off for Salvation Army

Published 12:34 am Friday, April 13, 2012

Members of Leadership Selma-Dallas County present Salvation Army Majors Eric and Tonya Roberts (bottom row, far right) with a $5,000 donation Wednesday. The donation came from proceeds from the inaugural Alabama River Chili Cookoff. -- Desiree Taylor

Members of Leadership Selma-Dallas County Class 18 presented The Salvation Army with a $5,000 check Thursday as part of their class service project.

The donation came from proceeds of the group’s inaugural Alabama River Chili Cookoff held on Water Avenue in early March.

Leadership member Jessica Hope felt the contribution would help support the agency’s services.

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“It’s incredibly important,” Hope said. “Available funds are decreasing and the needs of the community are increasing; it makes us proud to be able to contribute to The Salvation Army.”

Maj. Eric Roberts said the agency was honored to receive such a donation.

“It was a blessing to hear we were chosen for this,” Eric said. “To also be able to … experience the chili cookoff was another blessing in itself … so many organizations were involved.”

It’s events like the cookoff, Eric said, that help to put community-oriented organizations into the public eye. Eric said the agency plans to use the money in a variety of ways.

“We’ll put it into our account and it gets spread out,” Eric said. “We probably will use it directly for different things; I want to thank the community for coming out and sharing their community pride.”

Eric’s wife Tonya agrees.

“We want to thank the leadership class for all their hard work and dedication,” Tonya said. “We wish them much success for many years.”

Leadership executive director Carolyn Powell said Leadership’s mission is to develop personal and group leadership, and encourage volunteerism.

“The leadership organization annually devises projects to help with community issues … the program brings awareness to needs. Our mission is to learn and serve,” Powell said. “The Salvation Army does such great work through the programs they do.”

Leadership is seeking nominees for its next class to begin July 27 and 28. Call 875-8365 for more information.