By Rebekah Wrobleske, Reporter
The 11th annual Bed Races and the 17th annual Chili Cook Off has previously added up to 2,000 in attendance and the members of ATO and Chi-O are expecting similar numbers for their 2015 conjunction this Friday.
“It’s something that has been going on for a while. We provide the entertainment while Chi-O provides the food. It’s something that is really fun that a lot of people get really involved with,” said Montgomery junior, Brandon Buckalew, a member of the ATO fraternity. “Out of the philanthropy events on campus it’s one of the most highly attended.”
The members of Chi-O began their first Chili Cook-Off in 1998 as a fundraiser to raise money for their national philanthropy, Make-A-Wish Foundation. The Make-A-Wish foundation is an organization that gives children with life threatening conditions the opportunity to live their own dream, whether that be a trip, event, activity or whatever they would wish.
“Chili Cook-Off is all about Make-A-Wish and every cent that we make goes towards Make-A-Wish. It’s also about raising awareness and providing a fun event for the university,” said North Richland Hills senior, Madison Young.
Five years later in 2004 the men of ATO joined Chi-O in raising money for Make-A-Wish by adding their own event, of the Bed Races. Since then ATO and Chi-O have worked together to provide their proceeds to the North Texas Make-A-Wish Foundation to help give multiple children their very own wish.
“The make a wish foundation is something that Chi-O always gets excited about,” Young said. “Each spring we get to through a party for a make a wish kid and we get to kind of do a send of party for whatever trip or experience. It’s just really cool because Chili Cook Off is kind of the big celebration of it all and raising money so that we can grant wishes. It’s a joy to be able to do.”
This year a new addition to the event is the Wish-Walk. Chi-O is paired with the North Texas Make-A-Wish Foundation who will be bringing in large blow up posters of different children, their stories and their wish that was granted for them for everyone to walk through and read.
ATO and Chi-O have raised money through T-shirt sales, sponsors, admission fees and donations.
“We cover the entire cost of the event as a chapter and so any outside donations we get go straight to Make-A-Wish” Austin senior, Brian Stanley.
Check-in for both the teams of the Chili Cook-Off and the Bed Races will start at 5:30 p.m., on Friday. The teams consist of five members with a $25 admission fee per team. Chili Cook-Off T-shirts are $17. There will be prizes for the first, second and third place winners.
“We have a mix of professors and advisors and people on our exec that will be judging the Cook-Off,” Young said.
Potbelly will be catering chili as well as the teams participating in the Chili Cook-Off. The admissions for the Chili Cook-Off is $7 which allows you to try at your own risk the competition chili and Potbelly’s chili. Cornbread and Fritos are provided.
The Bed Races are free and open for everyone to come watch their teams of five race against each other. The teams will be pushing one member on a hospital bed to the end of the lane where a blow-up obstacle course will be. Once the obstacle course is finished the member is pushed back to the starting line, whoever gets their first wins and proceeds on to the next bracket.
“It’s an event that brings a lot of students together on campus for a fun night of groups participating racing beds down fifth street and if you’re not doing that then getting cotton candy and seeing people dressed up in costumes with the goal of raising money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation,” said Stanley.