920.563.8880 unitedway@idcnet.com

Fort Atkinson, WI – October 2, 2019

The United Way of Jefferson & North Walworth Counties is hosting its 20th Annual Chili Cook-off event on Saturday, November 9th at 6:00pm at the Fort Atkinson Municipal Building (30 N. Water Street).  The event will once again follow the Fort Atkinson Chamber of Commerce Holiday Parade.

“We are so excited to be hosting our 20th annual United Way Chili Cook-off.  The cook-off continues to serve as a wonderful community event, as well as a nice fundraiser for our United Way campaign.  We had over 400 community members join us last year and we raised over $1,500 towards our record-breaking 2018 campaign. Since we’re celebrating twenty years of chili cooking this year, we hope to have our largest crowd and best fundraising night yet,” states Megan Hartwick, United Way executive director.

United Way is seeking participants to join in the event and share their delicious chili recipes with the community.  “We have been lucky to have been at capacity the past few years of our event – with 18 chili recipes – and this year we’re adding two more spots in honor of our 20th annual event – offering 20 different chilis to our guests. We were very lucky to have so many wonderful organizations and groups participate in the event last year – varying from partner agencies, to business owners, to individuals, to the Fort Atkinson High School culinary arts class.  The variety of participants, and the wonderful chilis they make, is part of what makes the cook-off such a great community event,” Hartwick adds.

Anyone interested in participating in the event can contact the United Way office directly or can print the entry form from the United Way website under the “Events” tab. (found at www.uwjnwc.com).  Awards will be given for 1st, 2nd, 3rd places, as well as Most Innovative, People’s Choice, and Best Decorations.  The People’s Choice & Best Decorations awards will once again be determined by votes cast by attendees, and volunteers serving as judges will determine the other winners.

United Way is also seeking individuals interested in volunteering their time to help with various tasks at the event, including set-up, admissions, food table sales, ticket sales, judging and clean-up. Anyone interested in volunteering is encouraged to visit the United Way’s online volunteer platform to review the full details. The direct link is posted below. Volunteers can also reach out to the United Way office directly.


“Last year we had sixteen wonderful volunteers who donated a few hours of their time to help make our event the great success that it was.  We are always looking to welcome new volunteers, so anyone who is interested in helping with this fun event, or who is interested in tasting up to 20 different chili recipes, can reach out to our office directly or can respond to our needs posted on our volunteer platform.” Hartwick stated. “I will also be on maternity leave during this year’s event, so we’ll have our wonderful United Way intern, Rachael Chupka, running things that day. Dedicated volunteers will certainly help make her job much easier.”

The event will offer a $4 sample cup which allows attendees the chance to taste any/all of the featured chili recipes from local organizations and individuals.  The event will also feature a food table offering hot dogs, popcorn and bottled water (all items will be $1), a 50/50 raffle, and a baked goods table sponsored by local Girl Scout Troop #2276.

“Festival Foods is once again serving as the primary sponsor of our event for the sixth year in a row – other sponsors include Jones Dairy Farm, Fort Healthcare and FCCU.  Festival is generously donating all of the bowls & spoons for chili tasting, as well as all of the items for our food service table, which allows 100% of the funds we raise to be directly applied to our 2019 campaign fundraising efforts.  Festival Foods continues to be an incredible community partner for us, and we couldn’t be more grateful for their support,” Hartwick stated. “We are also excited, as always, to welcome Girl Scout troop #2276 back once again to run their amazing baked goods table! We are so proud to support our local Girl Scouts and are always so impressed by the wonderful treats they bring in and the incredible professionalism with which they run their sales.”

“We’re so excited to celebrate the 20th year of our signature fall event with our generous community and look forward to another wonderful night at the cook-off,” Hartwick added.

Any questions about volunteer opportunities or inquiries regarding participation can be directed to the United Way office at 920.563.8880 or unitedway@idcnet.com.


The United Way of Jefferson & North Walworth Counties supports over 30 local nonprofit organizations that provide critical health and human services to those in need.  UWJNWC also provides support to four community programs and multiple pillar grant community projects each year.  This network of helping services can be described as a “safety net” for those in our midst in need.  Whether it is transitional housing, literacy education, after-school programs and education, health and dental care, end of life care, mentoring programs, job training or disaster relief, the United Way identifies the greatest needs in our community and helps to fund agencies that can meet those needs. United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in our communities.

For more information about our local United Way, you may visit the website at www.uwjnwc.com  or “like” the Facebook page at “United Way of Jefferson & North Walworth Counties.”  For details regarding the United Way’s online volunteer platform, please visit www.volunteermain.com.