Madison County members host chili cook-off for Halloween

As Halloween approaches alongside the 2018 mid-term elections, KFTC members gathered for the Madison County chapter’s second annual Halloween Spectacular on October 21. The event brought together members and community participants from across Kentucky. Featuring a chili cook-off, costume contest and silent auction, the Halloween party served as a way to build new power, raise funds and promote KFTC’s Action For Democracy initiative.

The event provided for entertainment, good cheer and community engagement. KFTC member Barb Anspach attended the event, saying she did so because of her “ of chili” as well as the ability to participate in the activities of her community. When asked about her concerns and the issues of the moment that are important to her, she answered that, “I’m concerned about the environmental crisis that we’re hurtling toward, and the crisis of our democracy.” 

Loren Weber, a student at Berea College, echoed many others’ reasons and concerns. She was enthusiastic about the evening, saying, “I love all the people hanging out.” When asked about what concerned her, she replied, “There is a lot going on with immigration, voting and voter suppression.” 

Another Madison County KFTC member, Maggie Park, said, “I enjoy Halloween as a community event and thought I could contribute a chili.” After noting KFTC’s long 37-year history, Park said, “KFTC is still fighting for regulations with mining that keeps people safe and against deregulation that hurts miners.”

An immediate, major issue that KFTC members are working on is the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, which is under political attack. Under threat of being defunded, this public trust protects miners whose companies fail to provide for their healthcare at a time when rates of black lung disease are increasing.

Besides discussing ways to take action on a diverse range of issues, attendees made progress simply by participating in the party’s activities. By raising money through the chili cook-off and admission donations, the membership found ways to fund its own power. Additionally, KFTC worked with community partners to build local relationships. This year, Berea College’s Latin American Student Association joined with KFTC, providing some much desired hot chocolate throughout the chilly evening.

For the second consecutive year, Madison County’s chapter of KFTC turned the Halloween season into an opportunity for growth, building itself up to make more robust actions for democracy. The chapter also took up the charge of building a more beloved community, embracing the good cheer of the Halloween holiday.