Mark your calendars and loosen your belts: It’s food fundraiser season

maxresdefaultEarly spring is typically the time local churches and organizations start feeding people for a cause. That season unofficially launches Monday in Wichita.

A whole lot of food-based fundraisers will happen over the next couple of weeks. Some are simple chili feeds. Other are elaborate galas with huge spreads and fancy attire.

Following are a few to put on your calendar:

Dining with Friends, Monday, Feb.24: This event is a benefit for Positive Directions and includes a special dinner at Taste & See, 255 N. Washington. It’s a five-course dinner with two wine pairings per course. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the dinner is $65 a person. Reservations are required by calling James Woods at 263-2214 extension 109.

Palette to Palate, Friday, Feb. 28: This annual fundraiser for KETCH mixes art, food and drink. It includes food from local restaurants, wine tasting and silent and live wine auctions. The event starts at 7 p.m. Friday at Beech Activity Center, 9710 E. Central. Tickets are $75 a person. Tickets are available at ketch.org or by calling 316-383-8889.

Prairie Fire Chuckwagon, March 1: This all-you-can-eat chili and stew feed is put on by Grace United Methodist Church, 944 S. Topeka, and happens from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 1. Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under and include dessert and a drink. Additional desserts can be purchased for 50 cents. For more information, call 316-262-6195.

Throw Down in Old Town, March 6: Women in Aviation Air Capital City Chapter are putting on a cookie competition from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 6 at Social Manor, 920 E. Douglas. The event will put local cookie chefs against each other, including Bruce Reesman from Twizted Confections and Nancy Bell Ringer, the Dish Diva. Tickets are $15, and chances to vote for a favorite cookie are $1 each. Tickets are available at www.childrenfirstceo.org.

Wichita Airport Lions Club Chili Feed, March 8: This is the 22nd annual chili feed for this club, and it lasts from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 8. It happens at the Sedgwick County Extension Office, 7001 W. 21st St. N. Tickets are $7, and the event  offers all-you-can-eat chili and crackers and unlimited coffee and tea. Soft drinks and desserts are available for purchase. The proceeds will go toward community service activities and projects for the club.

Death by Chocolate, March 8: This eighth annual fundraiser for Exploration Place fills the children’s museums with chocolate creations prepared by local bakers, chocolate makers and restaurants. Visitors also can enjoy wine and chocolate parings, liv emusic. an open bar, and a silent auction. The event is from 7 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, March 8. Tickets are $80 a person and are available at exploration.org/deathbychocolate.