By LOIS KINDLE
The CATE Foundation (Conquering Addiction Through Education) will host its annual Family Fun & Community Day celebration from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 1 at E. G. Simmons Regional Park, 2401 19th Ave. NW, Ruskin.
The family friendly event will feature a chili cookoff, vendors, variety of fun activities for the kids, prize raffles, a 50/50 raffle and more. Sponsored by MJ Natural Resources, admission is free. Hillsborough County charges $2 to enter the park.
“The event is all about building awareness that we exist,” said Tina McGlynn, the foundation’s president and co-founder. “This helps fund our Recovery Resource Center, which provides support and hosts meetings for people in recovery and their families. “And it’s a great way to get the community together for some family fun,” she said.
Organizers are currently looking for chili cooks, vendors, exhibitors and volunteers to participate.
To enter the chili cookoff, chili cooks pay $25 and are invited to make any kind of chili in the level of heat they like. Last year’s competition featured dishes like Traditional Texas Red, Turkey and Bean, Wrectum Fire, Not Your Mother’s or Chuckwagon.
Each cook must prepare four pounds of freshly made chili on site for visitors to sample and then vote on for the People’s Choice Award. Each visitor pays $5 for a sampling bowl to try any and all of the entries. Last year there were seven chilis, and this year organizers are hoping for at least 10.
A panel of five judges will select 1st-, 2nd- and 3rd- place winners, who will win bragging rights and prizes of $100, $75 and $50, respectively. The People’s Choice and best-decorated booth winners will each receive a $50 Publix gift card.
All winners will be announced at 1 p.m.
Kids will find lots of free, fun activities at the event, including bounce houses, face painting, arts and crafts and balloon art.
Vendor and exhibitor fees are $50 per space, which includes the required Hillsborough County vendor license, [and] a one-item donation of merchandise, gift card or service for the prize raffles. Last year 30 vendors participated, McGlynn said.
Raffle tickets are $1 each, $10 for 12 and $20 for 25.
All proceeds from the sampling bowls and raffles will go to the CATE Foundation, which was founded in October 2017 by McGlynn and Sharon Iafelice. The organization’s Community & Recovery Resource Center opened at 5942 Frond Way, Apollo Beach, the following January.
CATE’s mission is to offer education, resources and referrals to anyone recovering from addiction. Recovery classes include Narcotics Anonymous, SMART recovery, matrix-based recovery and relapse prevention, NAR-Anon and grief support.
Since its inception, the 501(c)3 nonprofit organization has helped hundreds of people, McGlynn said.
The center also offers yoga classes with Robin Trotter and the Smart Sense Wellness Life Program for the community.
For more information, visit www.2cate.org or call 813-773-7175.