POW/MIA

ELKO — If 20 gallons of chili does not appeal to you, you’re probably living in the wrong place.

The Elko POW/MIA chapter will host its seventh Chili Feed fundraiser Saturday in the Elko Convention Center.

In addition to providing its own chili recipe, the nonprofit organization will conduct a chili competition between several local chefs.

The competition will produce 20 gallons of chili, said Les Brown, director of the Elko POW/MIA association and Northern Nevada state coordinator for the National League of POW/MIA Families. The winner of the competition will keep a 3-foot trophy and bragging rights until next year.

Proceeds from the event will go to the National League of POW/MIA Families in Washington, D.C.

“This is the fundraiser we do to help that National League of Families keep going,” Brown said.

Last year, more than 530 people attended the Chili Feed and the organization raised about $20,000 — either in proceeds from the event or donations received after it.

Last year, a few members from the National League left Washington to attend Elko’s Chili Feed. The entire board of directors will be present at this year’s fundraiser.

“They were so overwhelmed last year with the community’s support that they chose to come back and say thanks,” Brown said.

The board even gave the City of Elko a certificate of appreciation last June.

“It was the first time in 44 years that the National League has recognized a single community,” Brown said, “usually it’s a whole state.”

The National League will also hold its quarterly meeting Friday and Saturday in the Hilton Garden Inn. The meeting is open to the public and will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and start noon Saturday.

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The success of the POW/MIA’s annual Chili Feed continues to increase, Brown said.

“It shows a huge amount of support, but I also think it’s such a draw for the community because it’s a fun family event,” he said. “People have told us they have a lot of fun with it. The Convention Center is telling us this rivals some of the other events in town.”

Tickets cost $5 at the door.

“Kids under 9 are free,” Brown said, “and kids over 99 are free.”

Anyone wearing a service uniform will also be admitted for free, he said.

The doors open at 4 p.m. and the opening ceremonies begin at 5 p.m. The chili feed and an auction will be held right after.

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