New River Harley-Davidson: Annual Chili Challenge Benefits Semper Fi Fund!

New River Harley-Davidson is calling on all chili enthusiasts!


On Jan. 25, the grounds around New River Harley-Davidson will be crawling with people making chili, tasting chili, and grading chili all to benefit veterans.

According to New River Harley Davidson Assistant Sales Manager Don Thomas, this is the 7th annual Screamin’ Eagle High Performance Chili Challenge at New River Harley-Davidson. Each year, the cook-off benefits different nonprofits, most of them serving veterans because approximately 90 percent of their business is made up of veterans, Thomas said.

This year they are raising money for the Semper Fi Fund. “They direct urgently needed services to post-9/11 military members and their families,” Thomas said. He added that the Semper Fi Fund also makes long-term commitments to the people they serve. “It’s a commitment forever,” he said. “They help them get housing and everything.”

Semper Fi Fund Community Events Manager for the East Coast Madeline Schildwachter said this is at least the third year the chili cook-off has benefited the Semper Fi Fund. According to Schildwachter, the dealership has raised approximately $10,000 for the Semper Fi Fund over the years with the cook-offs and with a recent motorcycle raffle. “They are just the greatest group of people over there,” she said. “They love the Semper Fi Fund, they love the Marines; they take huge care of them. They do everything they can to help. We’re so grateful to have that crew right there on US 17.”

The Semper Fi Fund has assisted more than 11,000 service members and their families since May 2004, and more than 66,000 grants have been issued, totaling more than $84 million in assistance. Schildwachter said the fund originally started out as a way to provide emergency assistance to ease the burden while service members were in the hospital. Now, they also help injured service members transition to civilian life, as well as help those dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury.

Want to go?

The New River Harley Davidson 7th annual Screamin’ Eagle High Performance Chili Challenge kicks off at 9 a.m. Jan. 25 at 2394 U.S. 17 in Jacksonville.

The cook-off costs $20 to compete per team, and no more than six members can be on one team. The entry fee covers the cost of meat for the chili, which no team can bring on their own according to Health Department regulations. All other ingredients must be supplied by team members.

There’s a $5 donation for all sampling.

Teams must register by Jan. 18. Entry forms can be found online at

Learn More:

#HD #HarleyDavidson #SupportOurTroops #ChiliChallenge #SemperFi