Annual run, cook-off offer Family activities
Chili Cook-off contestants dish up their spicy creations during last year's Chili 5K and Cook-off event. This year's chili tasting begins Nov. 6 at 10:30 a.m. on the Fort Rucker Festival Fields. For more information, visit

FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Chefs, Families and athletes alike can enjoy festivities during the 19th annual Chili 5K and Cook-off Nov. 6, sponsored by the Army Aviation Association of America and 1st Battalion, 14th Aviation Regiment.

All activities are held on the Fort Rucker Festival Fields for the first time this year.

<b>Chili Cook-off</b>

Last year, more than 20 chili booths provided about 315 gallons of chili for community members to enjoy, said Maj. Pete Velesky, 1st Bn., 14th Avn. Regt. executive officer.

Up to five cooks can register as a team by Friday at 4 p.m. Registration is $15 per team and includes T-shirts. To register, visit the event Web site at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.

Groups are encouraged to develop themes for their booths, incorporating signs, decorations and costumes, Velesky said.

Teams may set up on the Fort Rucker Festival Fields Nov. 5 after 5:30 p.m. or Nov. 6 from 6 to 9 a.m.

Cooking begins at 8 a.m. on event day, and chili serving to the public starts at 10:30 a.m. Judging begins at noon, and awards are presented at 2 p.m.

Chili-tasting tickets are $1, beginning at 10 a.m. Participants may choose a one-cup sample of chili per ticket.

"This is a great cause. Every dime that we make in this event goes toward AAAA scholarships. Over the years, they've put out tens of thousands of dollars into the local community," Velesky said.

For more information on the cook-off, call 255-5076 or visit the event Web site.

<b>5K Run and 1-Mile Fun Run</b>

Registration for the races is ongoing and costs $15 before race day, and $20 from 6 to 8:30 a.m. the day of the race. A pre-race briefing is from 8:30 to 8:50 a.m.

Sign up forms are available at the event Web site, or can be filled out at a booth at the Post Exchange Nov. 1-5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Velesky said.

The 5K starts at 9 a.m., at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Fourth Street, said CW3 Justin Howell, run director and A Co., 1st Bn., 14th Avn. Regt. AH-64D Apache instructor pilot.

Participants will run down Fifth Avenue to 15th Street, turn left onto 15th Street and run to Third Avenue, where they turn left again. Racers run down Third Avenue, cross Andrews Avenue and run down Fifth Avenue, over the start line, to Division Road.

The 1-Mile Fun Run begins at 10 a.m., and covers part of the Air Assault Track, between Andrews and Third avenues, he said.

"It's a good day for a Family outing. We give all the monies raised to the AAAA scholarship fund, so we're giving the money back to the Army Aviation community," Howell said.

For more information regarding the run or walk events, e-mail Howell at or visit the Web site.

<b>Covenant signings and more</b>

The annual signing ceremony for the Army Family and Community covenants occur at 10:45 and 10:50 a.m., respectively. Both are Army-mandated and signed at every installation, said Sheryl Lowell, Fort Rucker Public Affairs specialist.

The secretary of the Army created the Community Covenant in 2008 to "foster and sustain effective state and community partnerships with the Army to improve the quality of life for Soldiers and their Families," according to information at

"It's the Wiregrass coming together with the Army saying, 'we'll help Families and Soldiers,'" Lowell said. "It's a bond between them and us."

The Community Covenant will be signed by all area mayors and U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker Commanding General Brig. Gen. Anthony G. Crutchfield, she said.

The Family Covenant is the Army's way of promising to take care of Families, Lowell said. It began in 2007 to "support Soldiers and their Families and resource programs to provide them a quality of life commensurate with their service (and) build an environment where Army Families can prosper and realize their full potential," according to information at

Other event activities include children's inflatable games, aircraft static displays, a hot dog stand, face painting, an obstacle course hosted by the Warrant Officer Career College, helicopter rides and more.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16