West Central Mass Transit to Receive Funds from Chili Cook Off

By Blake Schnitker on February 17 at 9:43am

West Central Mass Transit has been offering limited services to the community during weekdays and daytime-only hours for the past several months.

By teaming with Don’s Place for their annual Chili Cook Off, the transportation organization hopes to raise funds for their Safe Ride program to run for certain nights and weekends.

WLDS-WEAI News caught up with Executive Director of West Central Mass Transit Jean Jumper to discuss the fundraiser and where things currently stand for the organization.

Jumper says as of now, the Safe Ride program is only running during special events.

“We will run (the Safe Ride program) for the Chili Cook Off and for St. Patrick’s Day in an attempt to give people an option to get home safely. Generously, donations have been given so that we can do that,” says Jumper

With no payments expected from the State Comptroller’s Office in February or March, Jumper says fundraisers such as the Chili Cook Off are vital.

“We’ve got enough money now, at this level of service, to be able to get us through May, hopefully into June, but there will be no additional (services) unless there’s more money that comes in either through the Comptroller’s Office or things like the Chili Cook Off. We’ll be able to look at the funds that come in from the Chili Cook Off and determine how many hours we can put on to the Safe Ride program,” Jumper explains.

Jumper says while Don’s Place has hosted their annual Chili Cook Off for nearly three decades, this is the first year in which proceeds will go towards the Safe Ride program.

A one-day liquor license for the event was approved by Morgan County Commissioners earlier this week. The annual Don’s Place Chili Cook Off takes place Sunday, March 5 at the Jacksonville Municipal Airport.