Mokena Mayor Joe Werner attended a neighbor’s chili cook-off seven years ago. It was there that he was inspired to organize a fundraiser built around the three pillars of chili, football and helping others.
“It’s an event that allows the community to come together,” said Post Commander Jim Hogan. “And it’s also a heck of a lot of fun.”
The chili party encourages local residents to gather for an afternoon of chili and football. Cooks are welcome to bring a few gallons of their special soup for community members to taste while they watch the Bears take on the Seahawks.
“People like to get together,” said Werner.
Those in attendance vote each year to determine the People’s Choice Chili. Werner is still accepting chili submissions for Sunday’s party.
The event will also include a raffle and silent auction. The chili party typically raises approximately $6,000 per year.
All the money raised will be donated to benefit local wounded veterans through the Illinois Veterans Foundation.
Although Mayor Werner is the primary organizer behind the party, it is not a village-affiliated event. Rather, the chili party is coordinated through the Mayors Charitable Foundation, a separate organization.
The event runs from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 2. Admission costs $20 per person or $40 per family and includes chili tasting and other food, as well as non-alcoholic beverages.
All participating chili cooks must provide two gallons of chili and fill out an informational sheet explaining the specifics of their particular soup. For more information on how to enter your chili for People’s Choice eligibility, call the Mokena Village Hall at 708-479-3900.
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