Community members and organizers joined forces for the Chili-Dawg Challenge on Thursday, October 27. The annual event, which raises money for Big Brother Big Sisters Michigan Capital Region featured a record 16 chili dog vendors. It’s held in conjunction with the Autumn Celebration where local businesses host trick or treating for children as well as a costume contest for children and pets. This year’s event drew in thousands of people and raised nearly $6,850.

The event brings local restaurants and community groups together in a mission to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters’ local mentoring programs. Vendors create and sell their own unique chili dogs, donating ingredients and supplies. Regular chili dogs are $1 each and gourmet chili dogs are $2 each with all proceeds going to Big Brother Big Sisters.

In a friendly competition, vendors race to sell the first 400 dogs and be named “People’s Choice.” This year, Independent Bank was recognized as the People’s Choice winner and Big Boy received the Best Judged Dog award. Independent Bank associate, Karen Shannon, prepared the award-winning chili for the event. The Independent Bank team, which donated $1,990 to the event in addition to chili dogs, consisted of 40 associates.

“Independent Bank is proud to support the Chili-Dawg Challenge,” said Brian Talbot, senior vice president. “We look forward to the event each year and enjoy seeing so many members of the community come out to support such a great cause.”