Coon Rapids Police Chief Brad Wise has issued a chili champion challenge and declared a cook-off contest May 18 at the Coon Rapids VFW.
Always ready to meet any challenge, members of the Coon Rapids Fire Department, Rotary, VFW, American Legion, Lions Club, North Star Lions Club, and Kiwanis answered the call and are set to step up to the plate (or bowl) to vie for the title of Chili Champion of Coon Rapids.
But not only will a chili champion be declared that day, the contest will serve as the second of two fundraisers thrown to help raise the $20,000 cost of training for the Coon Rapids Police Department’s second police dog.
Billy is a 2-year-old German shepherd who began training with his handler, officer Bill Hammes, April 1 and is expected to go into service June 21.
Buddy, the department’s current police dog, is a male Belgian Malinois who has been with the department since November 2010 and works with officer Mark McDonough.
The Coon Rapids K-9 unit trains to the standards of the U.S. Police Canine Association in criminal apprehension, officer protection, building search, article search and narcotics detection.
“K-9 officers are an important part of the police department’s work,” Wise said. “They enhance public safety.”
In addition to casting a vote for chili champion at the May 18 event, those stopping by for the contest can see a K-9 demonstration by McDonough and Buddy and make bids on silent auction items. People will also have an opportunity to learn more about the eight groups participating in the chili challenge.
The chili cook-off fundraiser takes place 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 18 at the Coon Rapids VFW (1919 Coon Rapids Blvd. NW). Admission is $8 for adults, $4 for children and seniors.
If you’d like to donate money toward Billy’s training but cannot attend the May 18 chili challenge, visit CoonRapidsMN.gov/police/NewK9.htm for directions on how to do so.
Sue Austreng is at