Club uses chili to help children

By Kevin Wilson

Dave Russell thinks he’s got a patent on his hands.
Russell, a Kiwanis club member in his first experience with the group’s annual chili supper fund-raiser, explained his findings.
“You take the bowl, put in the chili,” Russell said while demonstrating, “then put a tortilla on top of the bowl” to keep the chili warm. Russell joked that he would try to rush into national production.
Friday’s fund-raiser, however, was a local production only. From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., members of the Kiwanis service club offered a bowl of chili, a beverage and a piece of dessert to anybody with a ticket for the fund-raiser.
Russell, who has been in Kiwanis for a little less than a year, said that of the three varieties of chili available (meat and beans, vegetarian and no beans) the meat and beans was by far the most popular — justification for having 12 of the 13 roasters for that variety.
Charles Brooks was a little more experienced with the ins and the outs of the supper — it’s his 24th time for the event, which was held this year at First United Methodist Church.
Brooks explained that the money raised from the event goes toward several annual Kiwanis events — a rural school track meet for younger children in the spring, a swim meet at the city pool in the summer and the pet show at the Roosevelt County Fair.
Another project the club has recently taken on is supplying schools for some of the early grades with emergency changes of clothes for any accident a child may have. The club had no idea it would be such a great need until after it was implemented, Brooks said.
Since the supper is the only way the organization can pay for all of these things, Brooks said it’s imperative to make sure the supper is a success every year.
“We start a few weeks ahead and we start divvying up responsibilities,” Brooks said. “We’re a small chapter and we expect everyone to pitch in or it won’t happen.”
Founded in 1915 in Detroit and with headquarters now in Indianapolis, Kiwanis International is an organization of individuals who support children and young adults around the world, according to the Kiwanis Web site ( The Portales chapter has been in existence since 1953.