Kiwanis serves up $10K for scholarships

Published 8:05 pm Friday, February 7, 2014

Vicksburg Kiwanians dished out 1,700 servings of chili and raised $10,000 for its scholarship fund during its 20th annual “Chili Feast” Friday at the YMCA on East Clay Street.
“We’ve come a long way. The first year we had this, we dished out 250 servings,” Kiwanian Tom Osburn said Friday as he prepared salad for the meals that would be served Friday evening.
Kiwanians served chili from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for lunch, and then again from 5 to 7 p.m.
“We served 1,500 meals at lunch,” Osburn said. “We delivered 900, and another 250 were picked up, some orders were 50 at a time.”
Osburn said the annual event is held to raise money for scholarships the club presents to members of local Key Clubs, the high school version of Kiwanis. The club sponsors Key Clubs at Vicksburg High School and Porters Chapel.
“Scholarships are what it’s all about,” Osburn said, adding they range from $250 to $750.
“We gave out $5,000 in scholarships,” he said. “Our goal this year is to give out $10,000 in scholarships to Key Clubbers and we’ve reached our goal.”
Eventually, Osburn said, the club wants to increase the awards to students, making them $500 to $1,000.
Cooking for feast began Tuesday, when Kiwanians cooked 224 pounds of meat, 40 pounds of onions and 20 pounds of bell peppers. “We made 140 gallons of chili and I bet we’ll serve it all today,” he said.
Members assisted by Key Club members began preparing meals at 6:30 a.m. Friday, filling 1,000 bowls by 9:30.
“We had 65 Key Clubbers volunteering to help,” Osburn said. “We couldn’t do this without them. We had some here as early as 7 o’clock.”
The chili feast began in 1994 at Hawkins United Methodist Church. It later moved to First Baptist Church, and then the YMCA.
“We went to the YMCA when it was downtown, and when it closed we came here. The folks here have been great for us. They have a great facility, and it’s been wonderful for us to be able to use it.”Chili

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About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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