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Ramsey's to hold benefit event to help needy cause
by Nancy Grindle Correspondent · January 11th, 2018

On Monday evening, January 15, you are invited to Ramsey's Wine Bistro for a delicious meal and a beverage, plus you will be able to participate in a first step designed to help two groups who truly need financial assistance.

Tami Kluth, Dale Shafer and Johnine Shaffer are the guest workers you will meet Monday, and they will bartend and serve for tips between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. The funds they raise then will be taken on to the annual Blues 'n Buffett Chili Challenge, which will be held at the Collins Road Marriott on February 11 and will be a huge affair. (To this date, the event has raised over $100,000 total!)

While at Ramsey's on Monday, you also will be able to purchase tickets to the Chili Challenge (at pre-sale prices) and your name will go into a drawing which will take place at the end of the evening. The prize will be a Ramsey's gift card.

Here's more information about the Chili Challenge:

Prices are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. For Seniors (over 65) the cost is $5 and kids under age 7 are free.

We found out that the challenge is actually a "cook-off" between The Isle of Iowa Parrothead Club and the Linn County Blues Society. The Blues Society will raise money for the Henry Davidson Youth Center, and the Isle of Iowa Parrothead Club will raise money for the Cedar Rapids free Medical Clinic. Tami, Dale and Johnine are members of the Parrothead group.

There will be over 20 different chili recipes to sample and a cash bar for drinks. Several local restaurants are entering and will have their own professional bracket of the Chili Challenge, so no doubt the food will be terrific. We have it via the grapevine that Josh Ramsey will compete that day. Local businesses can donate and become sponsors as well.

Everyone who attends the Chili Challenge will get voting tickets and can cast their vote for their favorite chili. A panel of "celebrity judges" will choose the overall winner and this panel will include local musicians and radio/television personalities. Bob Dorr and the Blue Band will be there, and Bob and Tami (yes, the same Tami who will be at Ramsey's) will be the MCs for the affair.

It is a family-friendly event, with face-painting for the kids and a lot of items available to win in a silent auction. A 50/50 raffle will run throughout the entire afternoon as well.

Okay, we have two clubs and we have two recipient groups. How do they determine what money goes where at the end of the day? Since this is the 18th annual Chili Challenge, they have it all figured out. Whichever club wins the competition get 51 percent of the proceeds for their charity; the other club gets 49 percent.

Tami said, "It's a very enjoyable way to spend a cold Sunday afternoon and help local charities." The event website is if you want more information.
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