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Club Hopes Chili Will Spice Up Donations to Troops

3-way restaurant chili cook-off is the draw to bring in food and personal items for shipment to those serving overseas.

Sometimes you need to give a little to get a little.

The Sussex Lioness club has organized a Friday afternoon drop-off of food and personal items to be shipped to those in the military serving in war zones.

The reward: free chili and refreshments, plus the chance to win prizes.

The Lioness' collection for the troops and "chili cook-off" between local restaurants runs from 2-5:30 p.m. Friday at North Shore Bank, W249n6600 Hwy. 164.

The chili recipes of three Sussex restaurants will be featured: Culver's, George Webb and Tailgators Sports Bar and Grille.

Those who donate are free to sample the chilis and vote on their favorite, said Candy Walecki, branch manager of the bank, a Lioness and coordinator of the event.

Walecki was looking for a way her community bank could partner in the Lioness' care package project.

"The chili cook-off seemed like a fun time, and the three restaurants were very enthusiastic about participating," Walecki said.

Walecki was quick to give credit to Lioness member Marlene Duehr, who has managed the organization's care package program. After four years, it is very near sending its 1,000th gift pack overseas to troops in war zones.

Among suggested food items are:

Small cans of nuts, granola bars, dried fruit, any kind of M&Ms, gum, packages of beef sticks, beef jerky, sunflower seeds, trail mix, individually wrapped  chocolates, small cans of fruit, individual packets of drink powder, etc.

Among suggested personal care items are:

Individual toothbrushes, small plastic bottles of shampoo, foot powder, small facial tissue packages, lip balms, small plastic bottles of hand sanitizer, wet wipes, foot spray, small skin moisturizer products, travel-size toothpaste, etc.

A gift of cash or a check is also welcome to help support the program.

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