Forest Glen to host chili cook-off

DOWAGIAC — A local assisted living facility is opening up its doors to the public this month and asking them to bring their best taste buds and recipes for an upcoming chili cook-off.

Forest Glen Assisted Living, 29601 Amerihost Dr., will host a chili cook-off from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 15. The facility is inviting the public to participate by bringing a chili to compete. To sample the chilies is $1. All proceeds will be donated to the activities department of Forest Glen to provide activities and entertainment for residents.

“It is just going to be a lot of fun,” said Robin Moser, life enrichment director for Forest Glen. “The community is going to be a part of it, and the residents are going to be involved. … It’s something different that is fun for us to do for the community.”

The chili cook-off, which is the first the facility has hosted, is part of a broader push by Forest Glen to provide entertainment and life enrichment for residents, Moser said. The cook-off is one of many events, which facility leadership is calling “wow events,” that are meant to facilitate fun and interaction between the community and residents. Other planned activities include a Valentine’s Day dinner in February.

“[Residents] need that stimulation, and they need to see merriment around them to be happy. That’s why we are all here, and why we want to [host these events],” Moser said. “Even though we are a small facility with a small budget, we want to host special things for them.”

In addition to providing entertainment for residents, Moser said she hopes the cook-off brings the outside community into the facility and increases awareness surrounding it, adding that she believes it is vital for both the residents and the facility that Forest Glen is an active participant in the greater community.

“We want to let people out there know that we are here,” Moser said. “There are people who don’t know that we are here, even though we are right in town. That’s when I knew that I needed to open things up and get the community involved.”

“We want to give a little back to the community and have them come and see everyone here,” added Administrator Judy Finney. “We are tucked away back here, so sometimes people don’t know we are here. We want to change that.”

Both Moser and Finney said they hope residents’ families and community members will attend the event, saying that they hope the building “is bursting through the walls” because so many people are visiting.

“We want to be known, and we want to be part of the community,” Moser said. “A lot of our residents are from here and Niles and they need to be a part of things. … We think [the residents] will enjoy themselves [at the chili cook-off], and community members will enjoy themselves as well.”

For more information or to participate in the chili cook-off, contact Moser at (269) 782-5300.

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