"You Bring The Mixin’s And Fixin’s, I’ll Bring The Bromo, Together We Can Save Some Kids"
How Micrografx Started The Now Famous Chili Cook-Off.

By: Mike Lipshultz

If you read any computer-related magazines, by now you are once again seeing those ads for one of Comdex’s biggest events: The Micrografx Chili Cook-Off (http://www.micrografx.com/chili/default.asp). But what do you really know about it?

Micrografx (http://www.micrografx.com) goes way back to the beginning days of the personal computer market. Back to the days when MS-DOS was the new hot ticket. Founded in 1982, Micrografx fast became known for one of their first products, Picture Publisher.

Video Thank You To The Chili Cook Off, Sponsors From: John Walsh

Now in 1998, Micrografx, in their own words, has grown into a global leader in the development, marketing and support of intelligent graphics software for process management, network design and enterprise graphics. The company's U.S. operations are based in Richardson, Texas, with development offices located in Los Angeles, Portland and San Francisco. International subsidiaries are located in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Representative offices are located in Denmark, Poland, Spain and Switzerland. But...

This is not a story about the success of a company. It is the story of two individuals that did something because it felt right in their heart, not in their wallets. It was not done for the growth of the company, it was done to save the children.

Back in 1991, Paul and George Grayson, the founders of Micrografx, founded a new tradition in the world of computers. This was the year the first Micrografx Chili for Children Cook-Off took place. It was also one of the catalysts for the high tech industry to take a look at itself and what it was giving back to the community. The current list of sponsors now reads like a who’s’ who of the high tech world. All thanks to two guys just trying to do the right thing.

Just like the rise of so many early high tech startup companies, the Micrografx Chili for Children Cook-Off has risen to great heights. Every year for the last three years the event has raised $500,000.00 per year. For the first cook-off, Ms. Kate Potts, an employee at Micrografx, volunteered to help organize the cook off. Today it is her full-time job.

To date the Cook-Off has helped raise over $3.2 million in cash and in-kind services.

The beneficiary of these funds is the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) http://www.missingkids.org/.

So far, funds from the Cook-Off have enabled NCMEC to create:

  As we said above, the Micrografx Chili for Children Cook-Off was started from the hart, not the wallet. To help save children, and that it has. In fact, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) (http://www.missingkids.org) reports an increase on their recovery rate from 67 percent in 1991 to 91 percent today as a result of the involvement of the technology industries. Over 140 children have been recovered as a result of the age progression software alone.

We are tempted to say that if your a technology company and you would like to get involved, then you need to give Kate a call at 972-994-6413, however we are sure the Center and Ms. Potts would welcome your involvement regardless of your business classification. Sponsorships range from $3,500 to $35,000, so pick up the phone and tell her BizNet Online told you to get involved. Again, Kate Potts can be reached at 972-994-6413. She will be happy to assist you with your priority sponsorship package, or visit http://www.micrografx.com/chili/sponsor_main.asp

Now, what has your business given to the community lately? You can always give more than money. You can give of your time, and expertise.

There are lots of ways to help out your community. The list is endless. If you are looking for a benefit to your business, look to your local chamber of commerce. Most chambers have committees that you can give your time and expertise to. Committees that not only work for the benefit of the business community, but the community they serve as well.

Looking to give more from the heart? There is no end to the list of service organizations that are looking for new members: Members that can and will give of their time, not just their money.

I promise you one thing. The smile your donation helps to put on a person’s face is nothing compared to the feelings it will give to your soul.

For additional information on the Cook-Off, call the Chili Hotline at 1-800-357-7255 http://www.micrografx.com/chili/

To make a donation to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) call 800-766-1616 http://www.missingkids.org/

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Last modified: November 08, 2002