The Chiliheads, as many of the participants in the International Chili Championships refer to themselves, are known as much for their ability to party as they are for their ability to cook up delicious chili. Sometimes overlooked, however, are that the proceeds from the Chili Appreciation Society International’s (CASI) Championship are funneled back into the community.
CASI held the 47th Annual International Chili Championship in November, but this past weekend, the proceeds were distributed. Jim Ezell, President of CASI, awarded more than $22,000 to several organizations. In fact, over the past 25 years, since the purchase of Rancho CASI de los Chisos, the Terlingua community and South Brewster County have been the recipients of over $750,000 in donations and scholarships. That’s some serious “chili power.”
This year’s beneficiaries were:
Terlingua EMS – $9,550
Terlingua High School – $5,500
Brewster County Sheriff’s Department – $4,000
Sul Ross Rodeo Club – $2,200
and $500 to the Terlingua Area Chamber of Commerce.
In addition, CASI awards $4,000 each to the Valedictorian and Salutatorian of Terlingua High School, while also ensuring any graduating senior intent on attending college receives as much support as they can provide.
As the photos accompanying this story reflect, a great time was had by all, and new meaning was given to the phrase, “put your money where your mouth is.”
Sharron Reed is a resident of Terlingua, Texas and a correspondent for KRTS/ Marfa Public Radio. All photos for this story (c) Pat O’Bryan 2014.