The Avionté Hope Foundation kicked off its efforts in 2013 with a chili cook-off fundraiser, which took place in our office Wednesday, to raise money for Second Harvest Heartland, a local food shelf that works to relieve hunger locally through leadership and innovation. We feel the fundraiser went extremely well! Here’s how it worked:

Any employees who had an interest in making chili signed up to enter our competition. We had seven entries overall: five unique chili’s, a wild rice and ham soup and a wildly spicy curry! Each entry was given a number, one through seven, and a bag was placed by each chili/soup entry.

To participate in the chili cook-off, employees were asked to pay $5 for a bowl of unlimited chili, which came with one vote ticket. $9 got them a bowl of chili and three votes, while $10 got them bowl of chili and five votes. Employees then tasted each chili and placed their ticket(s) into the bag that went with the chili they liked best. At the end, the votes were counted and the winner was announced!

Our food entries went fast! Everyone seemed to enjoy the variety of options, but the crowd favorite was by far the wild rice and ham soup, which was brought in by an employee from our IT team and was inspired by a family recipe. For creating what became the crowd favorite, our winner won a gift card to his favorite place, Chipotle!

After choosing the winner of the chili cook-off, we placed all of the tickets into one large bag and drew from that bag to determine our other winners. The three tickets we drew won the additional prize that was up for grabs: a “Cocktail Friday”, which will take place this Friday at the tiki bar, currently set up at the back of our office!

Through this fundraiser, we raised $400 for Second Harvest Heartland, a branch of the Second Harvest Food Bank that is located in St. Paul, Minn. Second Harvest delivers food donations to nearly 1,000 programs, food shelves, soup kitchens, and shelters through 59 county service areas in southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

As the upper Midwest’s largest hunger relief organization, Second Harvest has been able to provide millions of pounds of food to the people in our community that need it most. According to their website, for every $5 that is donated to their organization, Second Harvest Heartland is able to provide 18 meals. By raising $400 at our chili cook-off, we are able to provide approximately 1,440 meals!

We’d like to thank all of the employees who participated in our chili cook-off fundraiser. We can’t wait to see how the Avionté Hope Foundation is able to make a difference this year!

For more information about how you can become involved with the Avionté Hope Foundation, please contact us by email or by phone at 651-556-2121.

To learn more about Second Harvest Heartland, please visit their website.

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