In 1982 several Abilene business men became aware of the need that existed at the Abilene Boys Ranch. Since most of these “Good Ole Boys” were chili cookers, it was decided that the way to raise money would be to have a chili cook off.
Many good things have transpired since the beginning of the cook off. The Boys Ranch has since been renamed Ben Richey Boys Ranch in memory of its founder. The ranch has grown to be able to house 34 young men who attend local school, churches and are active in the community. With a lot of folks help, a new cottage was built in Albany in 2005. The boys attending school in this small community did well in school and were active in many sports. In 2006 the Greathouse cottage was built in Abilene and in 2009 we opened a cottage for single women and their children. The Ben Richey Boys Ranch family program exist to restore families with hope, comfort and shelter while they locate the resources they need to move toward successful independent living.
The Directors and Volunteers are proud to help the ranch by sponsoring the Chili Super Bowl annually on Labor Day weekend in beautiful Buffalo Gap. Hundreds of chili, brisket, chicken, beans and rib cooking teams from all over the state come to compete for prize monies in excess of $4000. All cash prize money is donated by local merchants.
Some of the activities include dancing under the stars on Friday and Saturday night.
There are food booths and homemade chili cooked by the Abilene & Dyess Fire Fighters Association in the World’s Largest Chili Pot sponsored by H-E-B. Also there are games for the young and old at the Kid’s Place. Cooking teams performing skits (competing for showmanship awards), and Saturday and Sunday live auctions.
We are proud to say the Chili Super Bowl has been able to present over a million dollars to the ranch over the years.