Rotary Chili Feast success story 28th year

Jim Hildebrand throws his head back after learning he is a finalist in the drawing for a new Ford.


HIGHLANDS– Twenty-eight years ago the Rotary Club held their first Chili Feast, to raise funds for community projects. It was not very successful, until they came up with the idea to include a limited ticket raffle of a new vehicle. Now, a tradition that the town looks forward to has seen another successful event.

Last Saturday, hundreds turned out for Chili, auctions, music, greeting old friends and new, and waiting for their ticket on the truck to be drawn and eliminated. If your ticket is drawn, that means you are out, and didn’t win unless you were the last one.

This year, Jim and Linda Hildebrand waited breathlessly, as the Rotarians came down to the last 10 tickets. Could they survive? Everyone gathered around, and one by one the ticket holders were eliminated. Except for two.

Irene Lindsey and Jim & Linda Hildebrand were still in the running. The next ticket was pulled by Miss Highlands. It was Lindsey’s, and the Hildebrands were the winner. Now the tension turned into joy, at least for that family, and for their many friends around them.

President elect Jesse Guillen, in charge of the Chili Feast, reported that this was a good year, with ticket sales and auction prices promising a top amount for the Rotary Club.

A complete list of prize winners follows:

1st ticket drawn, 35mm camera: Mike Fulghum; 50th, DVD Player, Ann Manning; 100th, Ladies Necklace, Charles Hagan/Russell Chandler; 150th, 19″ TV, Skully Moline; 200th, BBQ Pit, Kathryn Dunlop; 250th, Hand-held GPS locator, Elisabeth Manis; 300th, 5-pc wood patio set, Carla Stanley; 350th, $300 gift certificate, Donna White; 400th, Browning 7mm rifle/scope, Charlie Ramsey; 450th, $500 gift certificate, SJMall, Floyd Woods; 500th, 5 x 10 tilt trailer, Jeni Cobb; 550th, 32″ TV, Jim Jones; 599th, Computer w/printer, Irene Lindsey; 600th, grand prize 2003 Ford XL Pick-up, Jim & Linda Hildebrand.