Backpack Buddy’s Chili Cook-off Doubles the Impact for Local Children

Sample the best chili on the Sea Islands while supporting the Backpack Buddies program. Longtime Kiawah Cares partner the Kiawah Women’s Foundation (KWF) joins its counterpart on Seabrook Island for their fourth annual chili cook-off Saturday, March 17 from 1-4 p.m. at Bohicket Marina.


Backpack Buddies serves children at all five Sea Island public schools, which experience alarming levels of poverty. Kiawah and Seabrook residents founded their respective programs five years ago after learning how many children are affected by food insecurity in the local area. KWF points out that “hunger lives five miles away,” a shocking reality in an increasingly affluent area. Backpack Buddies volunteers work to make local hunger a rarity. Bags of snacks and weekend food items allow students to focus on learning instead of hunger. Both organizations are 100% volunteer-operated. Each group shops, packs and delivers food bags every week to each school.

Hosted by Todd and Kathy Gerhart of The Ice Cream Boat and Bohicket Ship Store, this year’s chili cook-off features 35 entrants. For just $10, guests can sample all the chili offerings while enjoying music and supporting a great cause. Wine and beer will be available for purchase. Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Ice Cream Boat, or at the event.

11 local businesses have met the Gorski & Friends Challenge to match event and online donations up to $1,000 each, potentially doubling resources and the impact for over 400 local children.

2018 sponsors are:
  • Coastal Getaways
  • Dolphin Architects and Builders
  • Island Transportation/Mike Gorski
  • Kiawah Cares Foundation
  • Kiawah Partners
  • NV Realty Group
  • Pam Harrington Exclusives
  • Pelican Development
  • Prime Cuts/Fipps and Sons Auto
  • Timbers Resorts Kiawah
  • Wells Fargo Bank

Spend your St. Patrick’s Day at the Chili Cook-off and double your impact. Help make sure there’s no home for hunger on the Sea Islands by attending the event or donating to support Backpack Buddies.

Can’t make the event but want to help? Making a donation is very easy.  Just call Mike Gorski at 864-316-3894 and tell him your donation amount.  He will provide the details for the different ways that you can donate and log your donation so the match amount is accurate.