AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Hope and Healing Place is getting ready for its largest fundraiser, The Big Cheese. The Rex Baxter Building at the Tri-State Fairgrounds will be packed on January 19th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. with folks trying to get some ooey-gooey cheesy goodness while helping a good cause.

Next year, The Hope and Healing Place is marking 20 years of helping grieving families and individuals and for eight years, The Big Cheese fundraiser has helped The Hope and Healing Place continue that mission.

“Generally, it brings in close to $70,000 for The Hope and Healing Place which is a huge, huge thing and we could not do that without our sponsors and all the restaurants that participant in it,” said Cakki Wall, director of communications and fundraising at The Hope and Healing Place.

Wall said that the money raised at The Big Cheese event helps them with programs and services.

“We do not charge anything for our services. You walk into the door, it’s free and it is free to anyone, there is not any kind of special qualifications for that and so because of The Big Cheese and because of other fundraisers like the half marathon and the wings of hope and our sponsors, we are able to do, give these services for free that would normally cost a family quite a bit of money,” said Wall.

Those programs include The Hope and Healing Place’s main program called Generations, which is a program for the entire family that is broken out into sessions and is done twice a year for eight weeks biweekly, as well as Heartprints, which is a grief support group for pregnancy and infant loss, which runs for six consecutive weeks, and Survivors of Suicide, which is a six-week program. They also use those funds to train facilitators to run those programs as well as the meals they provide before the Generations sessions. Wall said they also use the funds for the outreach that The Hope and Healing Place does as well as for Hope Camp, which takes place in the summer with typically 30 kids over a course of four days.

At this year’s Big Cheese event, 20 to 25 local restaurants, including area high schools will be competing for bragging rights to see who will be named The Big Cheese.

The other categories they will be judged on will be Judges Choice, Peoples Choice, and Kids Choice.

The high school culinary teams will also be competing for a traveling trophy.

Tickets to the event are $25 for adults and $5 for kids 12 and under, and Wall said you better hurry and get your tickets because this event sells out.

“They sell around 1,500 to 2,000 tickets. They can get tickets up until the day of the event if we are not sold out,” added Wall.

Wall said that those who come to the event are supporting something that is life-changing.

“It means a lot that these sponsors and the people who attend our event they 100 percent believe and buy into what we do here at The Hope and Healing Place,” said Wall.

She said those looking for support, you can call them at (806) 371-8998 or go to their website.