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Build Peoria looking to build a dog park in Peoria Heights with help from bowls of Chili

PEORIA HEIGHTS - A small group of friends have some big plans to help people enjoy the Peoria community.

They got a big start on those plans thanks to some chili and generous local restaurants.

Music, Friends and some good food. Hundreds of people were in high spirits despite the gloomy weather at Sunday's chili cook off in Peoria Heights.

Nick Yates is the president of Build Peoria. He says, "We've got chicken chili, we've got beef chili, we've got venison chili, we've got turkey chili, I've seen some Mexican chili. All different kinds of chili so they'll be able to compete."

Dozens of local Restaurants took a shot at becoming the 2017 chili cook-off champ, but it's not the pride of winning that makes this competition special.

Yates says, "They actually donated the chili that we're having here today, so every ticket sale that comes in here today to be able to taste the chili, all of those proceeds go back towards building the dog park."

Build Peoria is a new non-profit and their first goal is to build a dog park at the end of Duryea Avenue.

Yates says, "We're able to build the dog park with the people that are here today. We really think we're going to be able to fund it. In fact, we think through the money that we raised today, we'll definitely be able to get the dog park built come spring."

The dog park is just the beginning. Tom Howard is Co-Founder of Build Peoria. He says, "The whole thing is trying to get a community of people together that call this place home, that love it, and they want their legacy to actually be changing it into an even better place, and so it's going to take years to develop, but you know right now we have this project, get it done, ask our people what they really like, what they would like to see. I mean I don't know what our next build is going to be."

The winner of the chili cook-off was Hacienda El Mirador.

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