High Country Chili warms 300

Barbara Lawlor Gilpin County

For years, the High County Auxiliary has held its annual Chili Dinner/Silent Auction fundraiser at Station 11 on the Peak to Peak Highway and did well. Last year, the event was moved to the Gilpin County Community Center and they did even better. This year, the auxiliary outdid itself. Over 300 people attended the yummy-food, great-deals, wonderful-people, feel-good Gilpin County tradition.

Proceeds from the event benefited the Timberline Fire Protection District and the Gilpin County Animal Response Team. In past years the auxiliary has purchased ATV’s for backcountry rescues, gear and food and beverages for large emergency events in the county. The chili dinner is always their mainstay fundraising event.

And this year was no exception. The volunteers, 34 of them, served more chili than they ever did before, watching food for 300 people disappear before all tummies were full. The tables spread out across the back of the gym were laden with auction items donated by businesses and individuals.

Large paintings from collections went for a song. Local hand crafted pottery was stolen, on its way out the door to grace any kitchen or dining room, purchased for an amount way below its worth. Residents were thrilled at the variety and quality of the auction items.

There were vintage clocks that were snapped up by teens, Santas that were works of art, hats knit with Shelty hair, massages and oil changes, dinners and fine wine, a magnificent roll top desk from Doug and Kaye Kayser that was fought for and finally won by a local reporter.

It was a family affair and everyone, folks of all ages, had their eye on one thing or another. One Gilpin girl became enamored of a prancing white unicorn and looked pleadingly at everyone who even blinked in the unicorn’s direction. She prevailed and her twin bother went home with the dinosaur.

It’s kind of like a competitive treasure hunt with everyone eyeing each other to see where they are going. When Roxie Morris picked up her bullhorn and began the countdown to the end of the bidding, there was a flurry of activity. Many people bid on many things and were often surprised to find out what their bidding had acquired for them. Everybody left thinking they had scored big time.

The Timberline Fire Protection District firefighters and cadets helped with the setup and tear down and carrying tables and chairs. Auxiliary volunteers created the four chili choices and the corn bread and brought in the ice cream and drinks.

It was a perfect night to make a bunch of money for the crews that come to our aid when they are needed.

Barbara Lawlor

Barbara is a reporter for The Mountain-Ear.