Benefit chili cookoff raised funds for homeless scholarships

Yvonne Bear with team Spice Baby 1 and Travis Renne with team Spice Baby 2 are both members of Metropolitan Lutheran Ministries. They were two of the winners in this year’s benefit chili cookoff competition. (Photo by William Crum)

by William Crum 

A chili cookoff last week raised funds for a scholarship program for the homeless.

The cookoff was held March 6 at the Salvation Army headquarters, 67th and State Avenue, Kansas City, Kan.

Ten teams competed for the honors of best chili. All the proceeds went to help the Milla Massey Scholarship Program, developed to help homeless children in this community.

The scholarship helps the children buy books and other items to further their education.

According to Housing and Urban Development, a person who is homeless does not have a home at all – meaning they do not have a place to go. However, there are unreported homeless people who stay with family and friends and do not have a permanent residence, according to persons who work with the homeless in this community.

Many homeless children in this community are staying with friends or family, without a permanent residence. Some children come to school not knowing where their next meal will come from.

This scholarship program gives them hope, according to its organizers. Even though the scholarship amount is small, it will help pay for some books to help them further their education.

As a judge I had the honor of tasting some of the best chili ever in my culinary career at this contest, making it very hard to select a winner.

Participation was from many areas, including the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools and the Moose Lodge.

Organizers plan to hold this fundraising event again next year.

For more information on how to participate or donate to this program, contact Amy Thomas, coordinator, Wyandotte County Homeless Services Coalition, 701 N. 7th St., Room 823, in Kansas City, Kan. Her telephone number is 913-573-5120 or go to the website,