Chili dinner to benefit injured Holts Summit Fire Auxiliary woman

HOLTS SUMMIT, Mo. — A church in Holts Summit is planning a chili supper to help a parent and fire department supporter in need.

Grace Lutheran Church and Early Childhood Center will host an all-you-can-eat chili supper 2-7 p.m. March 22 to benefit Katherine O’Neal, a Holts Summit Fire Department auxiliary member who was burned and injured in a car accident in December.

Event coordinator Kathy Montgomery said the church approached the Holts Summit Fire Protection District with an offer to host an event.

“(O’Neal’s) son attends the Early Childhood Center, and as such, we felt they are part of our family and we should do whatever we can to help,” Montgomery said. “We saw a need and wanted to help.”

For $10 per person, patrons can have as much chili as they can eat, along with hot dogs, chips, dessert and drinks. The church will serve hot and mild chili options, and children 10 and younger eat free.

Tickets are available from the church and from Holts Summit volunteer firefighters. Buying tickets in advance is preferred, but they will also be sold at the door.

The event also will include a 50/50 raffle for $1 a ticket or six tickets for $5.

O’Neal was injured Dec. 10, 2013, when her Jeep Grand Cherokee was involved in an accident on Highway 94 in north Jefferson City. Her vehicle caught on fire and she was trapped inside.

Firefighters were able to rescue O’Neal, and she was transported to University Hospital in Columbia for her injuries. O’Neal is a Jefferson City government employee in addition to her role on the auxiliary, and her husband, Brad, is a Holts Summit volunteer firefighter.

Scott Pasley, Holts Summit Fire Protection District public information officer, said O’Neal spent time in St. Louis in physical rehabilitation after sustaining burns on much of her body and a number of broken bones. She is currently home with family and using a wheelchair, and Pasley said she is “recovering well.”

A number of events have been held for O’Neal over the past few months. Montgomery said she hoped hers would raise at least $2,500.

“We wanted to be able to help in some way,” Montgomery said. “We want to help to give back to a community that helps us.”

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