Chili cook-off held by real estate philanthropy group honors late realtor

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — There’s a local organization raising money for the community in a delicious way.

PAAR Cares is the philanthropic arm of the Peoria Area Association of Realtors. It was started after the 2013 tornado and “helps where there is a crisis and great need,” said Mary Ann Ladendorf, president of PAAR Cares.

On Wednesday, PAAR Cares hosted a chili cook off and a bake sale at PAAR’s headquarters in Peoria. For $10, participants were able to try seven different chilis and vote on their favorite.

Ladendorf said they renamed the event, which has been going on for several years, to the Chili “Koch” Off in honor of Nancy Koch, a local realtor who died earlier this year.

“It is such a good feeling because she did so much for the community and she was really instrumental in starting the PAAR Cares foundation,” she said.

Proceeds of the event benefit PAAR Cares and an educational scholarship created in Koch’s name.

Ladendorf said they expect to serve between 100 and 150 people during the cookoff, which translates to $1,000 to $1,500 raised, plus proceeds from the bake sale.

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