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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Chili benefit on tap

  • Those attending the 58th annual Neosho Holiday Classic basketball tournament on Friday and Saturday will also have the chance to enjoy a warm bowl of chili and contribute to a local cause.
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  • Those attending the 58th annual Neosho Holiday Classic basketball tournament on Friday and Saturday will also have the chance to enjoy a warm bowl of chili and contribute to a local cause.
    Advocates for Better Choices, a committee created to aid the Newton County Juvenile Drug Court, will be hosting a chili supper from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the Neosho High School atrium.
    Kathy Collier, Advocates for Better Choices member, said the funds raised from the chili supper will go toward the program's students.
    "We need to raise funds to help the participants in the drug court," Collier said.
    Tim Perigo, Newton County presiding judge and director of the juvenile drug court, said the program is one of the top in the state.
    "It brings a lot to the community," Perigo said. "In fact, Newton County has probably the most proactive program."
    He said there are currently 30 Newton County juveniles participating in the drug court.
    Perigo said the program has produced several success stories.
    "A girl last year had all F's and was living in a hotel," Perigo said. "She's in foster care now and making straight A's."
    He said another graduate from last year's group showed so much improvement that he developed his own public service announcement, which is to be used throughout the state.
    "Even the ones who don't fully succeed still show improvement," Perigo said.
    Perigo said he looked into forming a group like the Advocates for Better Choices committee, in hopes of getting some community involvement in the program.
    "The purpose of it was to be a community support to help the juveniles through that," Perigo said.
    Perigo said funds raised from the chili supper will be used in any way that would help participants in the program.
    "That money could possibly help the students with college or current expenses," he said.
    He said in the past the participants have gone on field trips, including a trip to Crystal Bridges Art Museum. Funds have also been used to help with basic needs, such as helping participants to get haircuts.
    Collier said Great Western Dining has donated food for the chili supper.
    Advocates for Better Choices will be charging $5 for a bowl of chili for adults, $4 for seniors and children ages 12 and under.
    The group is also accepting donations, which can be sent to Bob Williams, care of Hometown Bank, N.A., P.O. Box 510, Neosho, 64850.

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