Culinary students at Conrad Weiser High School are hard at work preparing 2 tons of chili for local nonprofit, Blankets of Hope. The annual fundraiser, Take the Chill Off, is now in its 5th year serving Chef Timothy Twiford’s award winning chili.

For each bowl of chili sold, a blanket will be donated to an individual in need. Blankets of Hope provides fleece blankets to homeless shelters, cancer patients, veterans, children’s home residents, and even animal shelters.

The idea for the fundraiser came together after a meeting between Twiford and Goldstein. Goldstein recalls, “within five minutes, Tim had the idea to use his chili as unique fundraiser”.

Last year, the event raised $22,000. Goldstein is hoping this year’s event can raise $25,000.

“Redner’s Market brings their truck loaded with 5-6 pallets of ingredients” said Goldstein. “Conrad Weiser Middle School has the facility and the equipment is amazing, and the students are in class chopping up the onions and peppers”.

When Conrad Weiser High School culinary teacher, Misty Witman, learned Goldstein need a new place to cook the chili last year, she was quick to offer the schools kitchen. Witman’s goal, to provide her students with a hands on learn experience.

“They are helping cook the hamburger, add all the beans, helping with clean up, helping with wrapping, basically everything” says Witman. Incorporating the work into her class room, Witman has students cut vegetables as a part of finals. Witman also offered extra credit for students who stayed after school to cook the chili.

“It is very humbling. I feel like we’re doing something for a good cause” says Nate Rodriguez, student a Conrad Weiser High School. “I’m glad to be here. It’s a lot of fun being in a big kitchen like this. It’s a nice experience”.

Chili will be on sale Saturday, February 1st at participating locations: 9 Area Redner’s Markets, Classic Harley-Davidson, 10 branches of Tompkins VIST Bank, YMCA of Reading, Mt. Penn Sports Cards, Queen City Family Restaurant, Benchwarmers Coffee & Doughnuts, Ridgewood Winery, and Immanuel UCC in Shillington.