The cook off is much more than chili, much more than music and achieves much more than people realize.
The Chili Cook Off is the only fund raiser that the Coosa Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited has each year. CVCTU is a 501(c)(3) tax except environmental organization whose mission statement is to protect, restore & enhance North Americas trout and salmon streams and their watersheds. Not only does TU do hands on work in streams and rivers and the surrounding forests, a lot of our efforts and money raised goes toward education.
In the past few years alone CVCTU working with the US Forest Service and the Department of Natural Resources has accomplished the following. Installed habitat enhancements at Rock Creek near Chatsworth that have improved the stream to the point that the numbers of fish have increased dramatically and the average size of these wild fish has almost doubled. Closer to home, CVCTU, the DNR, Floyd County and the USFS have built camp sites, improved degraded stream banks restricted parking and installed several fish stocking tubes in the Johns Creek area. The result has been better water quality better kept and camper friendly camping areas and the end to the all night party sessions that plagued the area. Johns Creek now has better fishing and is family friendly.
Education in itself is needed to enlighten those who enjoy the out of doors. For many years CVCTU has been a major benefactor for the Arrowhead Outdoor Education Center on Floyd Springs Road north of Rome. Arrowhead has enlightened many thousands of school children and hundreds of teachers helping them to understand the relationship of water, air, plants and animals and how all must live on this planet together. The children that have visited there have come away knowing that without clean air and water that not only will the plants and animals suffer, but some may disappear forever from the face of the earth.
CVCTU has now formed a partnership with The ECO Center that is located in the old pump station at Ridge Ferry Park. We are funding a new interactive cold water fisheries exhibit at the ECO Center that is still in the planning stages.
This exhibit and others that TU will develop in the future will help children and adults realize the importance of what TU does on our cold water streams and how the protection and improvements made not only helps the trout but how the improved water quality adds to the overall health of the entire watershed.
CVCTU has been instrumental in establishing a “Coldwater Fisheries Endowment” at The Warnell School of Forestry at the University Of Georgia. This endowment was started with the help of the Oconee River Chapter of TU and is now fully funded and generating scholarships for graduate students. CVCTU and all the other TU chapters across the state have now initiated another “research endowment” that is almost fully funded.
Last but not least, TU loves kids and many thousands of kids and parents have enjoyed the fun & excitement of Kids Fishing Day in Cave Spring.
All of these things would not be possible without the support of the people of Northwest Georgia and the dollars that they have contributed by going to the TU Chili Cook Off. Rain or shine, do your part to help CVCTU raise more money for all the great causes we are involved in.
THE COOK OFF
The cook off is Saturday October 13th at Ridge Ferry Park in Rome and will be held rain or shine. This is your chance to sample chili recipes from across the area.
Some are old family favorites and made from traditional ingredients yet some of the chili may be made from unusual things like buffalo, elk or deer.
No matter what there will be a huge assortment for the public to enjoy.
ENTER A TEAM
We still need teams to cook chili. Without teams & cooks we would not have a cook off. If you would like to be a real part of the cook off and become a competitor we need your entry form in as soon as possible. It costs only $40.00 to enter a team and for that $40 you will get four arm bands for team members, an apron, a commemorative flag and two T-shirts. Other than the ingredients for a minimum of five gallons of chili the basics needed to cook is a heat source, a pot and stirring device, various utensils, a table and a shelter. Sample cups and judging container will be supplied by TU.
Entry forms are available at various restaurants around town or go to coosavalleytu.org and click on the chili logo for a printable entry form. Please act quickly as the cook off is fast approaching.