The Tipp Monroe Optimist Club hopes things are heating up March 4 in time for its annual fundraiser, a Chili Cook-Off and Silent Auction.

This will be the third year for the cook-off and auction after 30 years of the club running the annual TV Auction.

The event is the organization’s main fundraiser for the year.

It will be held in a new location this year, the Zion Lutheran Church at Third and Walnut streets, Optimist member Gordon Pittenger Sr. said the church offers easier access and plenty of parking.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. with chili tasting and the opening of the silent bids on auction items.

Last year, 20 different chilies were entered in the competition, whose winners are selected by those attending the fundraiser.

“We had everything you could think of, from hot to kid friendly,” Pittenger said.

Those entering their chili pay a $10 entry fee for individuals and $25 for businesses. They need to bring at least five quarts of their chili in a crock-pot so it can be kept at serving temperature.

The cost to attend the fundraiser is $5 to taste all of the chili entries, vote on them and bid on auction items.

The auction items are donated each year by businesses and other supporters. Items donated so far include Bengals tickets, a family pool pass, a Keurig coffee maker and an array of gift cards and gift certificates from area businesses. Many items are placed in baskets on which people can place bids.

Auctions items continue to be accepted.

Money raised from the evening goes to scholarships and other youth-related activities the Optimist Club supports year-round. Among them is the Octagon Club at Tippecanoe High School, whose members help during the fundraiser.

The Optimist Club has around 25 members with new members always welcome, Pittenger said. The group meets the first and third Saturday of the month at 8 a.m. at Sam & Ethel’s.

To donate for the auction, submit a chili entry or for questions, contact Pittenger at 667-3051 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..