Celebrity Dog Trainer Brandon McMillan on Home & Family to Cook Chili for Charleston Animal Society Virtual Fundraising Event

Charleston, SC – Three-time Emmy® winning celebrity dog trainer and host of the Lucky Dog television series Brandon McMillan appeared on Home & Family this Wednesday, November 11th to learn how to cook chili for Charleston Animal Society’s 20th Annual Chili Cook-off.  The live-to-tape episode airs at 10:00 am / 9:00 am Central on Hallmark Channel USA. GET HALLMARK’S THREE BEAN RECIPE HERE!

Home & Family co-host Debbie Matenopoulos envisioned the segment after she heard how charities across America are reinventing their fundraising efforts that have been cancelled due to COVID-19.  Charleston Animal Society is one of the best-known lifesaving organizations in the US – it’s single mission has been the prevention of cruelty to animals since 1874.  From human disasters like animal cruelty and hoarding cases to natural disasters like hurricanes and floods – Charleston Animal Society keeps animals out of harm’s way up and down the Eastern Seaboard (Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina – and even Louisiana post-Katrina and post-Delta).

“Charleston Animal Society’s biggest fundraiser of the year, their annual chili cook-off, would normally involve upwards of 10,000 people. I helped them re-imagine their event by working with dogs in their shelter to create interesting content and moving the program to a Facebook Live stream which has created opportunities for anyone anywhere in the United States to get involved and help,” says Brandon McMillan. “I went to Charleston Animal Society to help them train some of the shelter dogs but, like most guys, I have no idea how to make chili.  I reached out to my friends at Home & Family to create a recipe and show everyone how easy making chili can be.  I could not lead the pack for the chili cook-off and not know how to make chili!”

“We are so moved every day about the stories of hope and compassion from across the country,” said Matenopoulos.  “When we learned how so many non-profit organizations that help people and animals are having to change how they raise funds to keep their vital programs going, we wanted to showcase how one creative organization, Charleston Animal Society, moved its biggest event online and created fun ways for everyone to get involved.”

The two-hour virtual chili cook-off will be streamed live November 21st from 5 pm to 7 pm on the Facebook pages for both Charleston Animal Society and Brandon McMillan.  The event includes celebrities, chefs, famous chili recipes, fundraising teams, and heartwarming stories about the lives saved every day at Charleston Animal Society.  Supporters are encouraged to signup, create a team or  fundraise at www.CharlestonAnimalSociety.org/ChiliCookOff.

Celebrity Dog Trainer Brandon McMillan and “Home & Family’s co-host, Debbie Matenopoulos, had a ball making chili just in time for the 20th Annual Chili Cook-off for Charleston Animal Society on the set of Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family. The episode will air on Wednesday, November 11 at 10am ET/9am CT.

“What’s brilliant about the virtual chili cook-off is that anyone can sign up to participate by hosting a small group in their home to make chili and just ask friends, family, or coworkers to donate online,” says Joe Elmore, President and CEO of Charleston Animal Society.   “Even with the lost revenue, daily operations to rescue, shelter, and heal injured and homeless animals have never stopped.  Anything goes when you can participate simply by having chili with friends at home or setting up a fundraising page.  From a themed chili-making party to posting videos of families making their favorite dish, anyone can be involved and help raise needed funds for the important work of the Animal Society.”