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March events will salute DD students

The Tribune/Jessica St. James (ABOVE) Chili aficianadoes test the recipes of cooks participating in the Board of DD chili fest. Month. This year will be the 15th annual festival that brings out cooks from across the Tri-State.

The Tribune/Jessica St. James
(ABOVE) Chili aficianadoes test the recipes of cooks participating in the Board of DD chili fest. Month. This year will be the 15th annual festival that brings out cooks from across the Tri-State.

COAL GROVE — With the frigid temperatures hitting the Tri-State, a warm bowl of chili could sound just right.

Although more than a month away, organizers of the annual Board of Developmental Disabilities Chili Fest are already gearing up for the celebration of the festival’s 15th year.

“We always have a good turnout for that and hope for 20 to 25 cooks this year,” said Tim Nunnery, public information director for the Board of DD.

Cooks either bring Crock-Pots filled with the makings of their special recipe and cook it on site at the Dawson-Bryant High School gym or cook it at home and warm it up at the fest.

Visitors can buy a bowl for $1 and taste as many recipes as they wish. This year’s fest is scheduled for March 22, but cooks can already register by calling the board office.

The chili fest is just one of a month of activities to bring awareness to the Open Door School and Tri-State Industries with this year’s theme as “Ability at Work.”

“This is just to make the community aware that we do have individuals among us who are living with developmental disabilities,” Nunnery said. “They are typical people and do typical things and are absolutely no different.”

New this year is a cookbook Open Door School boosters are selling.

“This has all new recipes and is a new cookbook,” Nunnery said. “The boosters is the parent organization that holds activities to raise money for the prom and other extra curricular activities.”

The boosters pay for the students’ cap and gowns for spring graduation, an appreciation luncheon for Open Door teachers and staff and field trips such as going bowling.

The first event of the month will be the balloon launch set for the first week in March followed by the 5-K race on March 8 at The Point industrial park.

Preregistration is also encouraged for the race. Both winners of the chili fest and 5-K will receive plaques.

The annual basketball game between Tri-State Industries players and a community team is also on tap at the Dawson-Bryant gym. But a date has not been set.

“Spring break falls in March and we are working with our schedules and Dawson-Bryant’s,” Nunnery said.

To register for events or for more information contact the board office at 532-7401.