By CHERIL VERNON
Dogwood Trails Assisted Living and Memory Care and the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter No. 991 and its Associates of Vietnam Veterans will host a chili cookoff in conjunction with a toy drive on Thursday, Nov. 29.
The chili cookoff judging will begin at 10:30 a.m. with the tasting at 11 a.m. and lunch served at noon. Participants are asked to bring one toy as price of admission to receive a chili lunch with all the trimmings as well as an opportunity to sample the contestants’ chili. All toys will be donated to the Anderson County Rainbow Room and will benefit local children.
“I think it will be fun for people to come out, sample the chili, visit with each other while collecting toys for a good cause,” Dogwood Trails Activity Director Debbie Wesson said. “Please bring toys to help us fill up the truck.”
Members of the VVA No. 991 will be on site with their Vietnam-era Army truck for collection of toys.
Event contestants in the chili cookoff include: Crown Health Service, Dogwood Trails Assisted Living and Memory Care, Encompass Home Health, Grace DME & Health Care, IntegraCare, Palestine Resource Center for Independent Living, Triple S Cowboy Church, AirPlusHeat and VVA Chapter 991.
The toy drive is being held in conjunction with Toys for Tots, a non-profit organization operated by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.
“Toys for Tots provides boxes for us to collect the toys. All of our participating organizations will each have a box at their particular business or organization as well,” Wesson said. “We also will have boxes at Brookshire’s and several other locations in Palestine.”
Toys donated to the Anderson County Rainbow Room will go to help about 90 local children, with the toys distributed by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
Dogwood Trails Assisted Living and Memory Care is located at 1625 W. Spring St. in Palestine. Donations will be accepted at Dogwood Trails until Dec. 17 for individuals wishing to participate in the toy drive but unable to attend the cookoff event.
For more information, contact Wesson at 903-373-8639, Allan Ayo at 903-322-4850, Hattie Kitchens at 903-724-9596 or Cathy Newsom at 903-729-7505.