VOLUNTEER OF THE WEEK: A cook-off worth volunteering for

Published 8:00 am Sunday, December 25, 2022

This week’s Vicksburg Post Volunteer of the Week is Rett Evans, who volunteers for Chili for Children.

Evans, who is originally from Grenada, has lived in Vicksburg for the past 17 years and said he is proud to call this place home. He is married with two stepsons, a daughter, two grandchildren, a cat and two rescue dogs, and claims they are all spoiled. Evans owns a company that creates loveable, attention-grabbing, unconventional advertising for small and medium-sized businesses. 

Chili for Children is an annual event hosted by The Radio People and Bally’s Casino Vicksburg. This year’s event will take place on Feb. 4 at Washington Street Park in Downtown Vicksburg. Chili for Children benefits the Warren County Children’s Shelter and Jacob’s Ladder Learning Center.

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How did you start volunteering for Chili for Children?

I was told they needed some chili-cooking teams that really knew what they were doing. So I bribed them to let us in and we threw some ingredients in a pot to help out. Pretty sure we came in dead last. My first team was called “Nine Finger Chili,” and the lucky person who found the 10th finger in the chili won the prize.

How long have you been volunteering for Chili for Children?

My memory is fuzzy, but I would venture in some form or fashion (that I’ve been involved for) around 10 years now. 

What is your favorite memory while volunteering with Chili for Children?

One year our team came as the “Chillindales” and we were in our bow ties and our physiques were all muscled up and the public went wild; they pulled us onto the dance floor and begged us for autographs. They thought more of us than our chili. That was especially memorable. We enjoy interacting with the public, we like to entertain and love to laugh. We have an interesting group of guys and it’s a tradition every year for us to have fun spending time together creating some of the world’s tastiest chili. 

What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering with Chili for Children?

The cause speaks for itself. This event is special. We help raise money that directly benefits children in our town. That feels good on the inside. It feels right. And it’s a rip-roaring blast. Our team over the last five years is a group of cool dudes who love the experience, the comradery and the cause. 

Additional Comments?

I can’t say enough about this event and the good it does. We are grateful to be a part of it. In all candor, we need more teams to participate. We want this event to keep growing so we can continue our mission of helping children in Warren County. We certainly are appreciative of all the support this event receives from the city of Vicksburg, the media and the citizens of Warren County. And frankly, our team could use some competition; we get tired of looking so handsome and winning all the time. I would like to send a special thanks to my band of brothers: Jay Hobson, Lee Thames, Bubba Nettles, Jeff Davidson, Paul Elwart, Charlie Perniciaro and  Matthew Dorbeck. Just in case you were curious, you’ve seen us as: The ChillinDales, The Chili Willies, The SuperZeroes, The NachoMen and this year we will be known as (Name Withheld). I guess you’ll have to come to support the event to find out.

If there is a volunteer who should be featured, please submit their name and contact information to volunteer@vicksburgpost.com.