Collins Lake Ranch is nestled between hills just off the main road in Cleveland, NM. Surrounded by forest, this tranquil valley has all the elements and resources of a traditional ranch complex. The 12-acre lake dominates the valley floor, with beach area for launching boats and room for anglers to cast a line. A little way up the hill on the south side of the lake are the residences, the barn and community activity center. Further up the valley is the sustainable organic farm that provides both seeds and starts for our small community garden. These are all important service hubs for people with disabilities.
This year Collins Lake wanted to step it up regarding their contribution to the community, so they came up with their first annual Chilli Cook Off fundraiser. The idea behind the fundraising was to offer a college scholarship to a Mora High School student with a disability.
“Our first chili cook-off was great,” said Marcella Martinez, a member of Collins Lake Ranch staff. Next year’s publicity should go smoother, but they still managed to get ten contestants and many activities for their visitors. Next year will be an even bigger success.
Canoes were out for people to take rides. Guests fed alpacas, and there was a cake walk. Ten different chili’s were made for people to taste and the corn lady came down from Taos Pueblo with roasted corn. About four vendors participated. Tons of giveaways were awarded prior to the final 50/50 drawing.
Ellianna Martinez, that’s her to the right, shows off her skills as a cook, below, with her fresh green chili frying before it was peeled and added to her chili pot. She had a lot of fun during this event and can’t wait to be a part of next year.
Collins Lake Ranch wants to thank you for your support, and reminds us to always keep the community in mind.