Fort Madison resident Gary Pilkington gets a "chili" reception from Fort Madison Police and Lee County Sheriff's deputies and reserves as part of Hy-Vee's annual Chili fundraiser for the Lee County Crime Stoppers. The event was held at both Keokuk and Fort Madison-Hy-Vees as a contest to see which store could raise the most money. Photo by Ava Peitz/PCC Intern
BY AVA PEITZ
FORT MADISON – With the below-freezing weather lately, Fort Madison Hy-Vee was the place to be Thursday while the Crime Stoppers held their annual chili fundraiser.
From 5 p.m. -7 p.m., the Lee County Crime Stoppers held their second annual chili fundraiser at the grocery in both Fort Madison and Keokuk. The proceeds from the fundraiser are used for expenses and criminal payouts as a way to reward citizens who communicate criminal activity through Crime Stoppers. Information communicated through the group must lead to an arrest and conviction before Crime Stoppers issues a payment.
The minimum award the local group pays out is $100, but rewards can be up to $1,000 for higher profile crime reporting.
Both deputies from the Lee County Sheriff’s office and Fort Madison police officers and reserves were present at the event to serve and seat customers.
A committee oversees the fundraiser operations, which is headed Bryor McMillen.
“We don’t really have a goal (of money to raise), just anything that the community is willing to give is welcome,” McMillen said.
He encouraged local residents to keep an eye out for criminal activity and said if residents see something they should say something.
The chili supper is held yearly at both Fort Madison and Keokuk locations.
“It’s just a friendly competition between two communities to see who can raise the most money,” McMillen said.
McMillen also mentioned that the Crime Stoppers would be sure to continue on with the chili supper annually, and that anyone interested can get more information about it on the group’s Facebook page.
Anyone with information to report on a county crime is encouraged to call local law enforcement or Crime Stoppers at 800-382-8900