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Today’s VFW chili cook-off to benefit local veterans

By Staff | Jun 9, 2012

VFW Post 8463 will host a chili cook-off fund raiser today to benefit local veterans.

The event will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. at the post at 4709 S.E. 11th Place.

Open to the public, there will food, fun and entertainment inside and out, with no cover charge although officials are asking for a $3 donation.

And if you’re not a big chili fan, there also will be plenty of other food available.

The post does a lot of good work in the community.

“The VFW helps everyone in the community, focusing on veterans,” said Post Commander Arne Suominen. “We had great support last year, and we want people to come out and know this is a family event; we want children there.”

All proceeds from this second annual benefit will be donated to the Harney Point VFW’s Veterans Assistance Program.

“That program, over the last year, has helped veterans with electric bills, rides to the VA Hospital, and helps with their rent and more,” said VFW Post organizer Jody Johnson. “It’s anything they need. We have a lot of guys coming back, and they don’t have jobs, need help with rent and getting started again.

“We have 15 cook-off groups and individuals so far, all from the community.”

The event is open to the public, organizers stress, and if your heart isn’t into chili, there will be a full menu offered that day.

“We have a large dining room with both smoking and non-smoking tales, and a large kitchen,” said Johnson. “There is a full menu available, besides the chili cook-off.”

There also will be lots of children’s activities.

“There will also be a bounce house outside for kids, and a rock-climbing wall,” she said. “We encourage everyone to attend.

“There will also will be an auction, with a lot of great, great prizes. Those were donated by the community. We raised over $6,000 last year.”

There will be music outside and inside, beverages and food.

Cape Coral Mayor John Sullivan and Councilmember Chris Chulakes-Leetz will be there, in a dunk tank, to help raise funds.

The dunk tank will be busy at about 2 p.m. Sullivan and Chulakes-Leetz will be encouraging attendees to pay $1 for the opportunity to drop them into the tank of water.

Organizers also challenged other city officials to get in.

In other activities during the year, the Post sponsors a Boy Scout troop and more.

“Every year we do a big event where we collect clothing for the homeless. We also send people to lecture about patriotism into the schools, and sponsor an essay contest with patriotism as the theme,” said Suominen.

For information, call Veterans of Foreign Wars VFW Post 8463 at 542-8463.