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Lexington Fraternal Order of Firefighters holds chili cookoff, auction for holiday toy drive

Published: Dec. 5, 2021 at 2:55 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Lexington’s Fraternal Order of Firefighters held their Chili Cook-Off and Chuck Williams Auction on Sunday.

This event raised money to buy more toys for their holiday toy drive. It was also in memory of the late firefighter Chuck Williams, who died in action.

“The secret ingredient I use in everything I cook at the fire station is love. I have been the reigning king for over eight years now, but recently I’ve come to a snag where I’ve been beaten for the past four years,” said Brian Dawson, firefighter, and former chili king.

Firefighter Sean Bessin is the reigning champion of the cook-off, and he hopes to keep his crown.

“I feel pretty confident. I’ve tasted several others and I think I’ll be alright. Yeah, I had some competition, and this guy used to win… but there is a new sheriff in town,” said Bessin.

In addition to the chili cook-off, there was also a silent auction. People were happy to have the event back after last year’s cancellation.

“It started in 1997 December. We’ve done it every year except last year, of course. It’s so nice to be able to do this for kids,” said Donald Southland, the auctioneer of the event.

Southland is the late father-in-law of Chuck Williams and knows this would make him proud.

“He was nothing but a big fun every day. He would glue stuff down to the floor, coins, and stuff. I asked him, ‘are you ever going to grow up’ and he said, ‘that’s no fun,’” said Southland.

All of the money raised will help the Fraternal Order of Firefighters buy Christmas items for central Kentucky kids.

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