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This year’s Chili Cook-Off featured a series of “firsts” and one very important “last.” For the last time, the Chili Cook-Off was held in our existing Parish Hall. Next year, after summer-long “Built on Faith” renovations are complete, we will be celebrating in a fresh new space alongside a beautiful new kitchen and indoor/outdoor courtyard!

And now for the firsts…

It was our first Chili Cook-Off since the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled last year’s event. It was also the first time in recent history that we crowned a Chili-Queen–Congrats, Mrs. Heller (past winners have been Kings!).

Finally, it was the first time we asked our attendees to help us warm something more than their bellies–Each attendee was encouraged to bring a donated item for our Catholic Schools Week charitable partner, Commonwealth Catholic Charities. In turn, CCC will help keep our region’s homeless citizens warm during this cold winter snap and beyond.

Throughout Catholic Schools Week, we will continue to accept donations as part of our school-wide service project. Items collected at the Chili Cook-Off were just a start! We’ll continue to post updates throughout the week on social media and in Friday’s Flash email to parents and grandparents.

Many thanks to all who have already contributed to this effort.

Based on feedback from student helpers at the Cook-Off, we anticipate our gymnasium will soon be overflowing with items for CCC to distribute to our neighbors in need. When asked if he could help carry and organize some donations, 3rd grade student Dev S. (pictured below left) shared that he was “all about doing something that will help the homeless!”.

Throughout Catholic Schools Week (January 29-February 4), members of our school community can donate anything from the following list of most urgently needed *new* items. Donation bins have been placed in each classroom for transfer to the parish hall by the end of the week.

Most Needed Items:

  • HotHands hand warmers
  • Gloves
  • Baby wipes
  • Shampoo/conditioner
  • Body soap

Other Needed Items

  • New clothing (Newborn – 3T)
  • Toiletries (no mouthwash)
  • Diapers (Newborn – 6)
  • School supplies
  • New blankets
  • New socks
  • New undershirts
  • New cleaning products 
  • Housewares
  • New twin & full bed linens

Food (perishable & non-perishable)

  • Canned vegetables, fruit, soups or stews  
  • Canned meat (tuna, chicken, SPAM, etc.)  
  • Dry soups (ramen, cup of noodles, etc.), Pasta noodles, Spaghetti sauce  
  • Peanut butter  
  • Beans (canned or dry)  
  • Rice (small bags or boxes)  
  • Macaroni & cheese  
  • Cereal (bagged or boxed)  
  • Hot Cereal (oatmeal, grits, etc.)  
  • Bottled water  
  • Snack Items (crackers, granola bars, cookies)

PTO Volunteer, Mrs. Joss, leads the way

PTO Event Chair, Jennifer Joss (pictured above with her family members) spearheaded the Chili Cook-Off and still managed to lead the charge on charitable donations as well by sourcing large boxes of HotHands handwarmers for Commonwealth Catholic Charities.