Mountain Sun Community School’s Chili Cook Off Benefits The Sharing House

By Kayla Leed | Brevard, NC

Each year Mountain Sun Community School hosts a Chili Cook Off and dance party, but this year on Saturday, February 25th the cook off took a new spin when parent and Mountain Sun Board Chair Dilshad Posnock heard about the Sharing House’s “Power Up” dinners.

The Sharing House is the Transylvania Christian Ministry that helps thousands of Transylvania County Residents each year by providing food, clothing, fresh produce, hot showers, household goods, utility and rent assistance, advocacy and compassion.

“I found information about Power Up, thought it would be a great match for my kids and their cooking enthusiasm to cook for a bunch of friends. Going ahead, it just seemed like something that we could do on a larger scale as a school. So, I mentioned it to Michael (MSCS Executive Director) and it became what would already have been the Chili cook-off,” said Posnock.

The Power Up dinner is an opportunity to host a gathering that helps to raise money for heating assistance to low-income residents. They can be dinners cooked and provided by the host or a potluck.

The Monarch class, 4th-7th graders, made fliers, music playlists, asked local businesses for donations, took admissions at the door, and set up and cleaned for the evening. Ingles, Food Lion, BiLo, Lowes and Food Matters all donated to help the Monarch’s raise over $600 to donate to The Sharing House’s heating assistance fund.

On the Friday before the event, Shelly Webb, Executive Director of The Sharing House, visited Mountain Sun and talked about the importance of heating assistance for low income residents of Transylvania County. The conversation had a great impact on the students and inspired them even more to make the event a success.

“Mountain Sun students look forward to the Chili Cook Off and Dance Party every year. This year was exceptional because we raised over $600 for the Sharing House. Community service is an integral part of our curriculum, so for students to work hard to do something fun and give back to the community is a great experience for them,” said Monarch teacher, Becky Langerman.

During the Chili Cook Off there was a chance to taste over 20 versions of chili including vegetarian, vegan and meat-lover options. There was a winner chosen for the meat category and one for the meatless category.

“I loved it! More people showed up than I expected and the music was really great,” said a Monarch student. The students particularly appreciated the dance party that had a playlist of their favorite songs.

“The people who came were really nice, especially since they were willing to give donations,” said another student who helped set up and clean up the event. The Monarch class decided on what roles were needed and each took a role in order for the Chili Cook Off to be a success.

“We were so glad to participate in this important program from the Sharing House,” said Michael Brown, Executive Director. “One of the things we emphasize at Mountain Sun is the importance of serving our various communities, and I’m very proud of our students for learning about this significant challenge in our county and finding a way to help.”

Mountain Sun students, faculty, staff and community look forward to this event every year, especially now that it involves giving back and creating a greater sense of community.

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