Cope Chili Supper cancelled

The Cope chili supper, a fundraiser for the Eastern Dollars for Scholars, previously reported in The Salem Leader on Tuesday, has been cancelled. Organizers were forced to cancel the 2020 event due to COVID and this year because COVID numbers are ramping back up, they thought it would be wise to not take a risk, so they are cancelling the chili supper again this year.
The Cope chili supper came about when Bill’s widow, Bobbi Cope, who was already a member of the Dollars for Scholars program at Eastern, thought it would be a good way to honor Bill, after his death in 1997.
“Bill was a teacher at the school and he worked three and a half years with cancer,” she said. “I thought it would be a good idea to raise money in his memory.”
He was both a teacher and a coach at Eastern High School. He believed full-heartedly that every student deserved a chance to further their education.
During the past 25 years, $420,000 has been given to 727 recipients. “If they give $5, it would only take 20 people giving $5 to make $100 for a student to buy a book,” Cope said. “It’s so important just for students to get books, let alone all the other things.”
They are working on a way to donate on the Dollars for Scholars website. Members of the group will also be set up at the game on Saturday, Jan. 29, to accept donations.
“We just don’t want to put anybody in jeopardy,” Cope said.
She will miss the family atmosphere that surrounds the event. “The Pekin community has been so wonderful to me and my family and the Dollars for Scholars program,” Cope said. A lot of the scholarship recipients return to the chili supper, too. She said, “It is fun to get together and I am going to miss that.
“I really want to get back to it.”
Table sponsors had already started to commit to this year’s event. “A lot of our table sponsors have been giving since the beginning,” Cope said.
The sponsorships received thus far include:
• Bronze sponsors: Green’s Auto Sales and Norma Jean’s Ice Cream
• Silver sponsors: Mid-Southern Savings Bank, Robert and Elizabeth Bennett and T&S Auction Service
• Gold sponsors: Mead Law Firm, Jeans’ Extrusions, First Harrison Bank, Blevins Sanitation, Cornerstone Family Farms, Crockett Family and Ace Hardware of Salem.
The Musketeers will be hosting the Salem Lions on Jan. 29, and the supper is usually set up for that game because Cope said, “A lot of people from Salem remember Bill, too.
“I feel so blessed to be a part of this.”
If you attend the game, make a point to find the donation table or if you prefer to mail a donation, send to: EHS, Attention: Kelly McCormick, 1100 N. Eastern School Rd., Pekin, IN 47165.


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