It was chilly outside the Red Oak Lions Club Community Center on Saturday evening, but it was the perfect weather for servings of hot bowls of chili with all the fixings on the inside.

“I come every year and I really enjoy it. I always do,” Helen Pomykal said.

The event is an annual benefit held by the Lions Club in coordination with the Red Oak ISD Education Foundation.

“This is our annual chili supper, which is also a community event for us that we sometimes hold twice a year. This year, we’ve held it only once,” Lions president Pete Anderson said, noting that 100 percent of the proceeds would benefit the foundation. “This event is usually held to help some organization and we decided to support the Red Oak Education Foundation both last year and this year. Our goal is to raise $2,000 and we’ve had people to come in and just donate without purchasing a ticket.”

The foundation’s executive director, Pam Lynch, expressed her appreciation for the Lions Club’s efforts.

“We’re really grateful for the Lions Club and we’re also grateful that they chose the Red Oak Education Foundation to support,” Lynch said.

More than 200 people turned out to support the event and to also enjoy some great tasting chili, including Mayor Alan Hugley, ROISD board president John Hawkins, board trustee Dr. Mark Stanfill, board trustee Lynne Grandstaff, the district’s assistant superintendent of business and support services John Humphrey, Red Oak Chamber of Commerce chairman Renee Chase and others.

“This is just a great chance to get out with the family, visit with friends and have a good dinner all at the same time,” Hugley said.

“Whenever the Lions Club and the Red Oak Education Foundation join in together, we always have a good turnout and the reason for that is because the foundation has the resources to bring people out,” Lions member Camille Pierce said. “They do an outstanding job advertising it (the event) for us.”  

Anderson and Chase said the event has been well-received by the community.

“The community always supports everything we do and we’re hoping to do much more,” Anderson said. “We always have volunteers to come out and help.”

“This is a well-represented joint venture that receives a lot of community support because we work together as an organization,” Chase said, saying the event saw a steady flow of people.

“We’ve had a consistent full room for at least an hour and that is awesome,” she said. “This is going to be great and we are very pleased, plus there is a lot of good chili here.”

With a line extending from the doorway to the different bowls of chili, chili lovers waited their turn to taste the different flavors.

“Everything was very good, especially the chili with coconut. I’d never eaten it like that before,” Gabe Ferraro said with a smile. “It was also a pretty nice crowd.”

“Everything turned out really good and all the chili was good, which made it hard to choose,” Ginger Robnett said. “It was a nice get-to-together and everyone was friendly, as always. It was like a family gathering, because we are family.”

The Lions Club also hosts a pancake breakfast every third Saturday of each month.

The club meets at 7 p.m. the first and third Tuesday of each month at the Lions Club Community Center.

E-mail Chicarra at chicarra.dense@wninews.com.