By SEAN ROWLEY
TAHLEQUAH — email@example.com
As part of its fundraising efforts, the Tenkiller Area Community Organization will host its Community Chili Dinner on Sept. 21 from 5-7 p.m. at the TACO building, 32247 S. 540 Road in Cookson.
The dinner will benefit TACO’s Christmas for Kids, which is planned for mid-December. The date is to be determined. Ballew said the event is attended by many children from Tenkiller School, and TACO wants to be certain the date does not conflict with any of the school’s events.
“The dinner menu will also include hot dogs, cornbread, drinks and crackers,” said Cindy Ballew, TACO president. “Our members will make the chili; I will prepare my mother’s recipe. Desserts, furnished by members, will also be served.”
While its aim is to raise money, Ballew said the chili dinner is also a place for people to “spend some time socializing.”
“People love the opportunity to sit and visit,” she said. “They see people they haven’t seen in a while.”
Proceeds will be used to purchase presents for children during Christmas for Kids.
“The presents will be passed out with Santa Claus,” Ballew said. “There will also be a Christmas party and we will sing carols. Children and their families are welcome to attend. Kids often bring their older siblings, parents and grandparents.”
A secondary beneficiary of the Community Chili Dinner is the Jack C. Montogomery Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Muskogee. Shortly before Christmas, a delivery of gifts - socks, toothbrushes, toiletries - will be sent to patients at the hospital.
Ballew added that the bluegrass festival planned for Sept. 28 has been canceled due to the inability to secure a sound system. Instead, the Cookson United Methodist Church will host a dinner from 5-7 p.m. to benefit the Cookson Boys Ranch.
Updates about TACO can be found by searching for Taco Cookson on Facebook. Further information is also available by writing to tacocookson @gmail.com or calling Ballew at (918) 931-7811.
Those who wish to join or volunteer with TACO may write or visit the Facebook page.
Originally established in 1975 to establish a volunteer fire department for Cookson, TACO is now a tax-exempt organization promoting charitable and educational projects and donations are tax-deductible.
Membership in the organization is $12.50 per person or $25 per family per year. Businesses may join for $35 a year and lifetime memberships are $200.