It may have been cold, but the chili was warm inside during Harry & Lloyd’s 2nd Annual Indoor Cornhole Tournament and Chili Cook-off in Americus Saturday.
The event drew more than 100 people, with 26 teams competing in the tournament and eight pots of chili entered into the cook-off.
This year’s fundraiser benefited the North Lyon County Food Pantry.
“Some of those people who help out with the pantry, like Lea and Josh Hamlin, come in here a lot,” Harry & Lloyd’s Owner Michael Phillips said. “They are always helping out [with the pantry] and I asked if that would be a good place for this, and they said, ‘yes.’”
Phillips said the donations of coats, canned goods and other items had been coming in since early December. He wasn’t sure exactly how much had been donated so far, but knew the response had been tremendous.
“I know we’ll have a good number of things donated,” he said. “The weather is probably going to keep some people away, but I think [it’ll be a lot.]”
As a small business owner, Phillips said it was important for him to give back to the community.
“It’s very important to me as a local business owner,” Phillips said. “And it’s important to me to support the people here, you know, because we’re all friends. We’re all family. If you can give people a hand up, I think you should. They give to me all the time, so I think it’s important that I give back.”
Although he’s only been in the area for five years, Phillips said he recently found out his third-great-grandfather was originally from Americus, and likely stepped foot in the same building his business is located in today. That makes giving back even more meaningful.
“He was actually in this town and probably in this building in this downtown area when it was being established,” he said. “It makes it mean a little bit more, and I didn’t even know that when I came out here. But, we’re all like family out here and when someone needs a hand, everyone helps out.”
A number of silent auction items were available throughout the event, donated and collected from businesses and individuals from around the area. The support, Phillips said, from those outside of Americus was always appreciated.
“We’re just trying to raise money for local people,” he said. “And you can’t go wrong with chili and cornhole, especially on a cold day.”