Secrets behind the R-II chili supper and “Where’s the Binder”

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By Kyle Quick:

Traditions are what make events such as Franklin County R-II’s PTO Chili Supper something people look forward to in October, simili it to the World Series when baseball fans become excited about baseball this time of year.

The World Series has well-documented history from when it first began and to changes that have taken place through the years.  R-II’s chili supper has it’s own well-documented history from when it began and evolved from when it first began to what it has become.

For those who have served on R-II’s PTO the phrase “Where’s the binder” should bring back many memories.  Ever since 1980 (First chili supper) the same ugly brown colored binder has been passed down from one PTO Chairman to another for over three decades, beginning with 1980’s Chairman Theresa Vance.

What’s in this binder?

The "binder" has had written notes by PTO members about each year.  Some years only contain tidbits of information while other rears are much more detailed.

Vance, the first entry in the binder, has a list of what was served and how much they charged.  To give you an idea of how times have changed I could have purchased everything 10 of each item on the menu for $46

This includes: chili, soup, beef sandwich, chick sandwich, hot dog, piece of pie, cup of coffee, a soda, and a cup of milk.

The 1981 entry gives a list of everything ordered and how much.

One item listed I never knew you could buy by the pound was hotdogs.  They ordered 15 pounds worth.

The 1988 entry is a copy of the flyer that was placed at business around town. (Pictured right)

The 1990 entry list the prices and believe it or not the cost of a bowl of chili increased a whopping 5 cents, 75 to 80.  That year I could have bought 100 pies for $60.

One of the more popular events is the pie auction and sometimes one pie will go for $60.  How times have changed.

The Chili Supper/Auction is the PTO’s largest fundraiser each year.  In 1998, their total profit was $545.42.  Today their profits are no longer hundreds of dollars but thousands.

"Where is the binder?" It is pictured to the right.

Kathy Vandegriffe is this year’s Chairman.

In 1980 when the first chili supper was held Vandegriff along with two other PTO members, Elisha Hoerstkamp and Cheri Brown were in kindergarten.

This year there will be all kinds of things going on.  They are selling raffle tickets for a chance to win an Ipad 3 or a two-night stay at a condo at the Lake of the Ozarks.  You can buy raffle tickets based on which item you would like to win.

Dinner will be served from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and then the main event, “Grandma’s Pie Auction” will begin promptly at 7 p.m.

We hope to see you out there.