Chili cook-off, bed races fundraise for nonprofits in Waco community

Alpha Tau Omega and Chi Omega hosted their annual chili cook-off and bed races to raise money for Make-A-Wish and the nonprofit CoHOPE. Photo by Skylla Mumana | Reporter

By Skylla Mumana | Reporter

On Friday Alpha Tau Omega and Chi Omega held a fundraiser chili cook-off and bed racing event for the Baylor community to enjoy.

The event took place in front of Moody Memorial Library and Fountain Mall, and ran from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. On top of its chili cook-off and bed racing, the event also featured games, music and a bounce castle.

The bed races were in support of the organization CoHOPE. Named after Baylor ATO member Coho Menk, a deceased alumnus, CoHOPE is a nonprofit organization that serves youth and adults worldwide. CoHOPE provides tools and services to promote health, educational support and overall well-being.

The races allowed anyone and everyone to enter, including parents of students. Dawn Watson, an ATO parent who came down for the organization’s parents weekend, entered into the competition along with other moms. Watson said they wanted to not only support their sons, but also were eager to support the cause that ATO was backing.

“I do think, especially at this age, this stage when you’re a young adult, it’s important to realize that things are bigger than just yourself,” Watson said. “Anytime you can support a group’s philanthropy, such as Make-A-Wish or CoHOPE, I think it’s a good thing to do.

On the other side of the event, the cook-off featured multiple chilis with a variety of flavor profiles. San Antonio sophomore Abriella Patti said she was pleasantly surprised by the event.

“I think it’s really great that two Greek life organizations came together to set up this event,” Patti said. “I never really thought about sororities or fraternities throwing fundraisers or anything relating to that, so it was cool to see that they organized all this.”

The chili cook-off was in support of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas. Make-A-Wish is a foundation that strives to grant the wish of every child diagnosed with critical, life-threatening illnesses. They believe a wish can be the spark that gives children the strength to fight harder against their illnesses, and hope to provide relief and optimism to their parents.

Colleyville senior Emma Jean Severide, a Chi Omega at Baylor, said the organization not only strives to put on fun events for the community, but is also deeply rooted in its philanthropy.

“One of the big points of being in a Greek organization is to give back to the community,” Severide said. “I think it just allows students, specifically Greek life, to get outside themselves and to remember that they’re not the center of the world.”

On top of this, Chi Omega plans to hold more philanthropic events for Make-A-Wish, such as its Wish Week and a sand volleyball tournament. Both of these events are scheduled to happen later in the year.