TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Dozens of people made their way to Central Presbyterian Church on Sunday for a hearty meal that also helped give back to a local organization.

United Campus Ministries held their largest annual fundraiser, the chilifest, to raise funds for their programs as well as their food pantry meant for college students in the area. Campus minister Reverend Dawn Black said she looks forward to the event each year to interact with the greater Terre Haute community.

“I think to see the support, because we’re kind of insular because we serve the higher education institutions, so we’re with students and things all the time,” she said. “But how invested our area congregations are, how invested our community is, seeing the support out there.”

It was the first time they held the event since the start of the pandemic. Black said she was eager to see the large crowd that gathered for the event.

“This is amazing, the energy in the room,” she said. “It’s hard, because there is COVID still out there, there’s still illnesses out there, there’s still things going on, but at the same time, we do have the ability to start coming together again, and there’s something healing for our souls in that.”

An online auction, part of the fundraiser, will go until Monday, March 6th. It can be found on the United Campus Ministries website.