As MS Awareness Week starts, Vicky Bashant is working on her annual fundraiser.
Bashant and her group, Vicky’s Important People, will hold a chili cook off on Sunday, March 18 from 2 to 5 p.m., at the Morris Plains Veterans of Foreign Wars.
This is the second year of the chili cook off. Last year’s raised $3,000, Bashant said.
To enter a chili, the fee is $40 and Bashant had to limit the entries to 12 because the judges had a hard time with 14 different chili recipes last year, she said.
“Every chili is different, they keep their recipes secret, too,” she said. “There are no professional chefs, they are all ‘foodies’.” She knows last year’s winner is entering and she also knows there will be some new people entering. Last year, only one point separated the top three winners. All of the top chili chefs were from Morris Township, Morristown and Morris Plains.
Admission is $5 and includes not only the cook-off, but also basket raffles, family games and more.
Prizes in the raffle include Knicks tickets, books, American Girl dolls, restaurant gift cards, bottles of wine and other gifts. Bashant has 18 baskets promised but said there may be more since people tend to come through with them at the last minute. Tickets for the raffle are sold at the door.
One of the games is musical chairs for adults. It costs $3 to play for a donated prize and the adults tend to be cut-throat. “The kids thought it was hysterical to see their parents act like that,” Bashant said. She expects about 30 adults to sign up and will do three rounds with 10 players at a time. The winners play a final round.
Kids can enjoy face painting, bingo and X-Box games. “A lot of teens help out,” Bashant said.
Bashant sent out an “e-vite” and received 120 responses.
Bashant also participates in the MS walk in New York City on Sunday, April 29. There are walks in New Jersey on April 15, but she enjoys the New York walk with about 5,000 people. She brings friends and her sons and some of their friends.
There are 400,000 people in the United States will an MS diagnosis, Bashant said. She has become friendly with a number of local people who share the diagnosis, she said.