Chili Fest date set for DD Awareness Month

Published 1:30 pm Wednesday, January 18, 2012


COAL GROVE — Millions of Americans have physical or mental disabilities, including more than 500 children and adults right here in Lawrence County.

To bring the community together with students at Open Door School and Tri-State Industries clients, the Lawrence County Board of Developmental Disabilities will again celebrate Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in March.

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Most synonymous with Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month — is the annual Chili Fest held at Dawson-Bryant High School.

This year marks the 13th annual Chili Fest, which features concoctions from many local families and business.

“Usually we always try to have local participants and local organizations come out,” said Tim Nunnery, public relations and personnel director for the LCBDD.

Participants can register to have their homemade chili sampled and voted on by the crowd and a panel of local celebrity judges. If chili-making isn’t your forte, it only costs $1 in admission to go booth-to-booth tasting each creation.

Nunnery said last year’s event brought in $900 alone in admission. With the $20 registration fees for each chili chef, the day’s totals topped a couple of thousands of dollars, he said.

“It’s always a great feeling and builds confidence for the following year,” Nunnery said. “As long as people come out and support it, we will keep having it.”

The Chili Fest will be 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 24 at DBHS, as well as the annual craft show, which brings in local venders to sell their handy work. Registration is open for each event.

“If you’ve never been, come to Chili Fest and check it out,” Nunnery said. “It’s only a dollar to get in and it’s for a good cause.”

The following week, all-stars from Open Door School and Tri-State Industries will face off against local media celebrities in the annual March Madness basketball games.

The games will be March 27 in the DBHS gym. There is no admission.

“They get really pumped up for it,” Nunnery said of the ODS and TSI teams. “They always have a good time.”

And so does the crowd, Nunnery said.

“The community always looks at it as fun and sees everyone doing their best,” he said. “Nobody is bored at those games. It’s always fun.”

The LCBDD is also still looking for sponsors and registrants for the second annual 5K run/walk on March 10. The race will be at The Point industrial park in South Point.

Last year, registration brought in almost $4,000 and donations through sponsorships brought in an additional $2,000.

Pre-registration before Feb. 25 is $15 and guarantees a T-shirt. Registration is $20 the day of the race. Registration will be 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. with the race beginning at 9 a.m. Registration forms are available at

There will also be a balloon launch the first week in March at Open Door School to kick off the month’s events. The date is tentatively set for March 1 and will depend on the weather, Nunnery said.

To register for any of the events, call the LCBDD at 532-7401.