“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
That quote by Margaret Mead has inspired a committee of 35 students from Ohio State’s College of Pharmacy to make a difference by raising money for the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.
The students, who are part of the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists, have organized the 13th Annual Chili Cook-off to be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center.
Jess Noble, the chairwoman for the event, said she hopes community members will help raise money for cancer research.
“Our basic goal really is to do outreach into the community and improve the lives of the community around us,” Noble said.
The event is open to the public, and all proceeds will benefit James Cancer Hospital. Donations will be taken at the door, with a suggested donation of $10.
With a donation, visitors can sample 1-ounce portions of any of the 41 chili entries in the competition.
“They fall in all kinds of categories from vegan to vegetarian to beef to turkey and chicken,” Noble said. There will even be a bison chili available.
Several awards will go to the best chilies in categories such as the spiciest chili and the best chili from a student organization. The deans and faculty members of the College of Pharmacy judge the special categories. Guest judges from the community are also on the panel this year.
Participants who sample the chili will be able to vote for their favorite.
“The people’s choice is the ultimate winner,” Noble said.
Rusty Bucket Restaurant and Tavern will not compete but will serve chili at the event for those looking for a meal-sized portion.
Activities besides chili tasting will keep visitors entertained throughout the evening.
“We’ve introduced a huge number of activities for the kids this year,” Noble said.
Children will be able to make buckeye necklaces, decorate cookies and play “pin the buckeye on Brutus.”
Adults can participate in a silent auction, with $4,000 worth of prizes donated by local businesses. Prizes include corn hole boards, a ski package, a bow tie signed by OSU President E. Gordon Gee and several gift baskets.
Cancer patients will share their stories during testimonials. Brutus and Gee are also expected to make an appearance.
Jen Whetstone, faculty adviser to the association, and Marissa Henning, on-site committee co-chair, said they expect a good turnout.
“We’re just expecting people to come and have a good time while raising money for cancer research,” Henning said. “We’ve put together an awesome night of events.”
Last year the event raised about $9,000. This year, the committee hopes to raise $15,000.
“I think that my biggest expectation would be that any one person by getting involved can make a difference,” Whetstone said.