Supporting Fellow Students
Zeta Zeta Chapter at Morehead State University raised $1,250 in February through its fourth annual chili cook-off with all proceeds earmarked for the school’s Eagle Essentials Program. While there are many philanthropic fundraisers on campus, Zeta Zeta’s work may be the largest event directly supporting members of the campus community.
Eagle Essentials supports college students who don't have adequate food and items essential for successful academic performance. The program provides students with everyday items at no cost, including non-perishable food items, hygiene products and school supplies.
“In the past we have chosen a singular Morehead State student who is in need as our fundraising goal. This year we decided to support Eagle Essentials because it is available to all students on campus and we felt we could be a big help to our fellow students,” said Conor Mullaney (Morehead State University, 2020), the chapter’s community service chairman.
For the first year of the chili cook-off, the chapter raised funds for the family of a student who lost her home in Bath County, Ky. The chapter paired with the MSU Bible campus ministries (BCM) to use its on-campus kitchen and facility for the event.
Former chapter president Hunter Collins (Morehead State University, 2020) and external vice president Cameron Faudere (Morehead State University, 2020) were also instrumental in organizing the fundraiser.
“We just want to raise as much money as we can to help out the person or group we pick and to show them that we care. Typically, just students participate in the competition, but we have had some parents participate before and our advisor [Darrin DeMoss (Morehead State University, 1989)] has participated every year,” said Mullaney.
Event income is made up of entry fees for the chili competition and ticket sales for those who want to eat at the event. Members also sell t-shirts and accept donations at the door. Promotion of the fundraiser included flyers on campus and t-shirts worn the week before the event. Social media and word of mouth driven by chapter members also helped spread the word.
The chili cook-off continues to grow with entertainment by local bands, raffle drawings and a silent auction. This year the popular local band, Bedford, played at the event. University administrators, professors and other university staff serve as judges for the chili competition naming the three top competitors. Porsche Maness received the first place award, Aaron Barrett (Morehead State University, 2019) received the second place award and Phyllis Keaton received the third place award. Two additional crowd favorites included chili with spicy sausage and corn prepared by Leighton Piper (Morehead State University, 2019) and chili created by Zach Horton who runs a popular local food truck/restaurant called Erma's.
“This is my third year heading up the chili cook-off and the community around Morehead has been great to us and this event. We can’t thank the local businesses enough for donating to us. We have been lucky enough to have had great support from students who attend our event every year,” said Mullaney.