JERSEYVILLE - The Jerseyville Rotary Club’s long-running annual ChiliFest event is returning soon on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the First Baptist Church located at 200 W. Pearl St. in Jerseyville. Proceeds from the event will help the Rotary Club continue its service projects around the community.

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Tickets are available for $10 each and can be purchased in advance from any Rotary Club member - a full list of members is available at the bottom of this year’s ChiliFest flyer or on Riverbender.com. Tickets can also be purchased at the door on the day of the event, and each ticket purchase includes chili, a hot dog, and a cookie, all for $10 - homemade vegetable soup is also available for those who don’t prefer chili.

Kim Hardin with the Jerseyville Rotary Club recently appeared on an episode of Our Daily Show! on Riverbender.com to share more about the event as it inches closer.

Hardin recommended ChiliFest attendees park in the parking lot located under the nearby water tower and enter the Fellowship Hall South Entrance. She said there will be dine-in and carry-out options available for those who want to enjoy their chili on-site or take it home.

Hardin said ChiliFest has been going since the early 1980’s and is the only fundraising event the Rotary Club holds all year. Rotary Club members, including retirees, all pitch in to make the event a success.

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“We want to try to make it the very best that we can, and so it’s kind of an all-hands-on-deck event,” Hardin said of ChiliFest. “Everybody in the club comes together to work to make it a reality.”

Hardin noted the Rotary Club is a volunteer group with a wide range of ages and occupations among its membership. She said the proceeds from each ChiliFest help the Rotary Club put its motto of “service above self” into action around the community.

“Everything that we do in the club is geared towards serving either Jerseyville or the surrounding communities in some way, so we use those funds to support our efforts,” Hardin said. “One of the things that we do every year is the Dictionary Project - [we’re] especially proud of that one.”

For the “Dictionary Project,” the Rotary Club buys about 500 dictionaries and has members deliver them to third graders within the Jersey 100 school district, including schools in Jerseyville, Calhoun, Greene County, and the Southwestern School District, Hardin said.

She also added that the club is always looking for new members, and recommended those interested visit their website, Facebook page, or join them for lunch - the club meets twice each month in the Fireside Room on the third floor of First Baptist Church in Jerseyville, and also has twice-monthly social outings at local restaurants.

To learn more about this year’s ChiliFest, or for more on the Rotary Club, the work they do, and ways to support and/or join the group, see the full interview with Hardin at the top of this story or on Riverbender.com/video.

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