The Central Pennsylvania Humane Society will turn up the heat with its first fundraiser event of 2014.
Local restaurants, organizations and individuals will compete in the annual ChiliFest & Wings to benefit the humane society Saturday inside the Bavarian Hall.
The popular event is one "people know and look forward to because it's a very casual kind of evening," and "a lot of fun," Jill Reigh, director of outreach and marketing for the CPHS, said.
Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski
Greg Griffin, owner of the Hot Dog Shoppe in Juniata, makes a batch of chili. The Hot Dog Shoppe will be competing in this year’s Central Pennsylvania Humane Society’s 2014 ChiliFest & Wings event for the first time.
Chilifest & Wings, one of several fundraising events for the humane society throughout the year, benefits specifically the humane society's police department and the Kennel Kampaign, which will add noise-reducing panels to the dog kennel.
Often, people don't realize the humane society's police department, which covers several counties, are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, Reigh said.
The officers "go everywhere, I mean, they're up the mountain, up places where it's never seen a plow and when it's an emergency to rescue an animal, they've got to get there," Reigh said. "So those funds from people buying tickets to Chilifest ... still directly benefits an animal that's desperately in need in this cold weather and not being treated well."
If you go
What: Central Pennsylvania Humane Society's 2014 ChiliFest & Wings
When: 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday
Where: Bavarian Hall, Altoona
Tickets: $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Admission for Veterans, EMS, Fire and Police remains $10 at the door. Tickets are on sale at Liberty Mart, 1201 Pleasant Valley Blvd.; the CPHS Shelter; Rustic Country Furniture, 402 N. Seventh Street, Juniata; and Cassidy's Brew Zoo, Pleasant Valley Shopping Center.
The evening includes music, dancing, a cash bar and True Country 94.3's Doug Herendeen as emcee.
A Diamond-level baseball package from the Altoona Curve and a Keurig donated by Boscov's are up for grabs as door prizes. Sponsored baskets will also be available for bidding.
Six judges will determine who snags the top three spots for the best chili and wings recipes, according to the CPHS website. A People's Choice award is also awarded.
Sponsors include Lang & Son Construction, Fiore True Value Hardware, Imler's Poultry and Liberty Mart.
"Each $150 sponsorship for ChiliFest pays for a new tire on the police car and $200 buys a needed new tire for the Rescue Truck," Humane Officer Paul Gottshall said in a press release.
Local restaurants competing include Fat Daddy's, the Marzoni's Brick Oven and Brewing Company locations in Greenwood and Duncansville and The Bavarian Cafe.
The Hot Dog Shoppe, 705 N. Fourth Ave., Juniata, is competing for the first time this year.
"It's a good cause, obviously. The Humane Society, I got my favorite dog that I've ever had from there, and he's still with us and that's after 14 years, and they're good people." owner Greg Griffin said. "One it's a really, really, really good cause, and two it will help me get my product out there and get my name out there."
Griffin's plan of attack for the competition is a taste of something new.
"I'm going to do something that's original," he said. "I don't sell chili in a bowl right now, I just have my chili sauce, but I'm going to make something, and then I'll probably start carrying chili here. This is actually getting me to get into it."
Mirror Staff Writer Amanda Gabeletto is at 949-7030.