By Mallory Sherwood, Features Editor
Eating chili and listening to jazz music were two of the late Dr. Charles Trevathan’s favorite things, and the two will come together Saturday at a chili cook-off to honor the instructor of sociology and social work who died Oct. 12.
The men’s social club Pi Kappa will sponsor the event in the mall area near the GATA fountain.
Members of social clubs, churches in Abilene and those who knew and loved Trevathan are entering chili recipes, which will be judged and tasted from 5 to 7 p.m., said Matt Hurley, Pi Kappa president, director of the chili cook-off and social work graduate student from Abilene.
Each group that participates is asked to submit a chili recipe and supply enough chili for guests to eat. Spectators who want to taste various recipes are asked to pay $3, which will benefit the Charles Trevathan scholarship fund.
“One thing I can say about my precious husband is he loved chili,” said Phyllis Trevathan, Charles’ widow. “For 46 years, everywhere he went, even in Oxford, he would try to find chili. I had to cook chili for him for many, many years. He was a chili-addicted man.”
Phyllis Trevathan will judge the chili, which will be divided into categories like vegetable chili, meaty chili, spicy chili and others.
Hurley said the evening will be fun and entertaining because jazz music and entertainers will be present.
“We want people to come and have a good time and to recognize what he stood for,” Hurley said.
He said he expects all social clubs to participate along with several churches in Abilene, including the Trevathan family’s church.
Members of Pi Kappa brought the idea of the chili cook-off to Hurley as a way to remember Trevathan and what he stood for, Hurley said.
Trevathan was the first advisor of Pi Kappa. He remained actively involved with the club and its leaders for many years and became a mentor to the men.
“I took all of Dr. Trevathan’s classes and saw the kind of person he was,” Hurley said. “I saw how his work influenced people’s lives through the way he taught and the way he lived.”
Some members of University Church of Christ said they want to participate because they, too, were influenced by Trevathan.
“Charles Trevathan was really respected by the congregation,” said Derrick Bam, family minister at University Church of Christ. “We thought a lot of him.”
The church made announcements about the event in the weekly bulletin to encourage members to participate, said Joy Gotcher, bookkeeper for the church. Trevathan mentored Gotcher’s husband, David, assistant professor of sociology and social work, and the families were very close, she said.
Members of University Church of Christ also want to support Hurley, who is a member of the congregation, Bam said.
The men of Pi Kappa haven’t said how many people they hope will come to the event.
“We don’t have a clue as to how many people will attend,” Hurley said. “With every new idea there is a certain amount of risk involved. We’re just hoping to eat some good chili and honor Dr. Trevathan.”
If the chili cook-off goes well, Hurley said he anticipates it becoming an annual event.
“I think it is going to be something really fun and in Charles Trevathan’s style,” Bam said.