920.563.8880 unitedway@idcnet.com

Fort Atkinson, WI – October 13, 2016

The United Way of Jefferson and North Walworth Counties is hosting its 17th annual United Way Chili Cook-off on Saturday, November 12th from 6-8:00pm 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 17th annual United Way Chili Cook-off.  The cook-off continues to serve as a wonderful community event, as well as a fundraiser for our United Way campaign.  It also helps increase awareness for our causes and great partner agencies – many of whom participate as chili cookers.  We had over 400 community members attend last year, and we look forward to having even more join us this year,” states Megan Hartwick, United Way executive director.

United Way still has space available for a few participants to join in the event.  “We had eighteen delicious chili recipes last year and we hope to maintain that level of offering for our guests this year.  We were very lucky to have so many wonderful organizations and groups participate in the event last year – varying from partner agencies, to service organizations, 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 (found at www.ourunitedway.com) and mail it in.  United Way is also seeking individuals interested in volunteering their time to help with various tasks at the event.

“We have been very fortunate in past years to have a group of wonderful volunteers who assist with set-up, ticket & raffle sales, food sales, clean-up and the most fun volunteer job – judging!  Our volunteers play a vital role in the success of the event and really help things run smoothly.  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 18 different chili recipes, can reach out to our office or review the details on our volunteer platform.” Hartwick stated.



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.


“For the third consecutive year, Festival Foods is serving as the primary sponsor of the event and generously donating all of the items for our food table, which allows all funds raised to be applied directly towards our campaign fundraising efforts.  We are very grateful to have Festival Foods not only as a supporter for the chili cook-off, but also as a strong campaign workplace supporter,” Hartwick stated.  “We are also very excited to welcome back local Girl Scout troop #2276.  They’ve run such an incredible baked goods table for the past two years, and have been able to raise a great amount of money for their troop.  United Way is proud to support our local Girl Scouts and we greatly appreciate their participation.”
There are currently eight local organizations/individuals currently registered as chili cookers, with space for ten additional participants.  Awards will be given for 1st, 2nd, 3rd places, as well as Most Innovative and People’s Choice.  The People’s Choice award will be determined by votes cast by attendees, and volunteers serving as judges will determine the other winners.


Anyone interested in volunteering is encouraged to visit the new online volunteer platform at http://www.volunteermain.com/need/detail/?need_id=215393 and review the details.  Any remaining questions about volunteer opportunities or inquiries regarding participation can be directed to Hartwick at the United Way at 920.563.8880 or unitedway@idcnet.com.



The United Way of Jefferson and North Walworth Counties supports 26 local agencies that provide critical health and human services to those in need, as well as various community-enhancement pillar grant projects, and four community programs.  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.


For more information about our local United Way, you may visit the website at www.ourunitedway.com  or “like” the Facebook page at “United Way of Jefferson & North Walworth Counties.”