Head out and make a difference this weekend

10:27 AM, Oct. 24, 2013  |  Comments
  • Filed Under

Saturday is national Make a Difference Day. For more than two decades a movement has existed to dedicate the last Saturday in October to doing something extra for your neighbors, community or friends and family. It's billed as an opportunity to give back, get involved and, as the name implies, make a difference.

In Oshkosh, there are no shortage of great causes and great benefit events. There is also an abundance of people and businesses willing to step up and support these efforts through donations of time and talent, gifts and admission fees. Many of the great opportunities that make us Wisconsin's Event City revolve around these simple concepts of gathering together and raising awareness and money for deserving organizations that help improve our community. Lucky for our taste buds these charitable events often revolve around some of our favorite pastimes - food and drink.

? On Saturday the second annual Oshkosh Chili Cook-Off will be held in Opera House Square. Dozens of amateur competitors will get up early and start filling the downtown air with the delicious smells of their top secret chili recipes.

The event is a perfect way to warm up on a chilly autumn morning and it is in that spirit they've embraced Make a Difference Day by partnering with Oshkosh's Day By Day Warming Shelter. It's perfect timing for the shelter as they prepare for another cold season of providing a safe and comfortable place to sleep, a warm dinner and breakfast for adults with no other sheltering options in our community.

Chili sampling, $10 per person and $5 for children age 6 to 12, begins at noon.

But you'll want to head downtown a little early as the Oshkosh Saturday Farmers Market graciously extended their season by one week to help create a more festive atmosphere. The market will run from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the 400 and 500 blocks of North Main Street and continues to provide great shopping options for fresh, local meats and produce, as wells as arts and crafts, live music and plenty of breakfast options.

When the noon whistle blows, you'll enjoy unlimited (until they run out at least) samples of chili prepared on site. Judges will be on hand to christen winners of "Best Traditional Chili," "Specialty Chili" and "5 Alarm Chili." There will also be a beer tent and a DJ. All proceeds support the warming shelter.

? If you're looking for a more hands-on way to participate, Aurora Medical Center is organizing volunteers to create craft projects to be donated to area nursing homes, care centers and hospitals. From 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday you can help make a difference just by showing up and using your creative energy at their facility at 855 N. Westhaven Drive. They will also be collecting new stuffed animals and yarn to benefit patients.

? The Hilton Garden Inn, 1355 20th Ave., hosts their annual Harvest Moon Madness arts and craft sale from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. Altrusa International will host a bake sale including fresh picked pecans and there will be a scholastic book fair. Admission is $2 per person.

? Saturday evening you can help support the UW-Oshkosh Titans men's basketball team while enjoying a steak dinner at the Best Western Premier Waterfront Hotel, 1 N. Main St. This new event seeks to bring the community and the team together. A $50 ticket price includes a rib-eye dinner, a short program and a chance to meet and mingle with players and coaches. Call (920) 424-2211 to RSVP.

? The Oshkosh Chamber Singers present "Where the Earth Meets the Sky" a concert inside the UW-Oshkosh Music Hall, 1001 Elmwood Ave., at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. The music will celebrate earth, fire, water and the human spirit. Admission is $20 at the door or $5 for students.

? If you're in the mood for some cheap thrills consider attending the "Spirits of the Grand Tours" at the Grand Opera House, 100 High Ave. Admission is $15 per person for this unique tour of the 130-year-old building with character actors retelling some of the most famous "ghost" stories from their history. Tours begin at 7, 8:15 and 9:30 p.m. this Thursday through Saturday nights.

? And if you can't wait until Halloween for trick-or-treating, downtown businesses will be handing out treats a day early as they've organized a Downtown Trick or Treat from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 30.

Have fun this weekend and help make a difference by supporting great local charitable events and organizations!

What's your take on the Packers Family Night change?

Retrieving results.
Watching practice is fine.(Your vote)
579 votes
I'd rather watch a scrimmage.(Your vote)
862 votes
I don't want to pay to watch practice.(Your vote)
1025 votes
It doesn't matter to me.(Your vote)
1278 votes

Catch up on the latest in our pregame show every game day.

Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports


Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports