- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 6, 2005

More than 100 homeless men celebrated the Super Bowl yesterday with big bowls of chili and a big-screen telecast of the game between the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles at the District’s Central Union Mission, in the 1300 block of R Street NW.

Kitchen workers began preparing the chili Friday. Yesterday afternoon, Darrell Wilson, 45, began heating up 10 gallons of chili while he mixed cans of soft drinks into a punch.

“All our food is donated,” he said. “This is a real blessing.”

More than 20 volunteers served chili and cleared tables.

Central Union Mission is 121 years old and provides shelter for about 82 men a night.

“I come here every day,” said Earl Smith, 52, both hands atop his sturdy wooden cane.

Spokeswoman Kelli Davis said the mission operates numerous other outreach programs to help families, Hispanics, at-risk inner-city children and Camp Bennett in Olney.

In front of the big screen, loyalties were mixed, though Philadelphia seemed to be the favorite.

“Philadelphia, of course,” said Robert Dancy, 43, when asked which team he was backing. The chili and the game were appreciated, he said. “It brightens my spirits.”

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