AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — After being canceled last year due to COVID-19, the Tri-State Open Chili Championship supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation returned to the Rex Baxter Building for its 38th year.

“We could not do what we do in our community and in means the world that we have our community here in Amarillo putting this on for us,” said Emily O’Brien, development officer for Make-A-Wish of North Texas

Admission was free, but to taste homemade chili, cups were five dollars, with all proceeds going to Make-A-Wish.

“To see this many people come out. It only cost five dollars, to get a little cup and go around and taste all the chili here in this building. It’s heartwarming and it means a whole lot to Make-A-Wish,” said Millie Bingham, co-chair of the Tri-State Open Chili Championship Cook-Off.

O’Brien said the money raised at this event helps them continue with their mission.

“It’s through events like these that raise money for us, they raise thousands of dollars for us, which means we are able to go out and grant wishes for kids that have critical illnesses and make sure we are able to infuse hope into their situation that they are walking through with them and their families,” added O’Brien.

Bingham said the event has grown in 38 years. Starting with just a handful of cooks, into over 90.

One of those cooks, Chris Virden said he has been participating in the event for 17 years and it means a lot to help a great organization.

“Anything we can do at Rhynehart Roofing to support local charities, that’s what we do and Make-A-Wish is one of our favorites,” said Virden.

Bingham said cooks that participated in Saturday’s chili cook-off came from all over the Tri-State area.

Bingham added in 2019, they were able to raise over 30 thousand dollars for Make-A-Wish and they were hoping to beat that this year.