The Gorski and Friends Challenge

Mike Gorski, owner of Island Transportation Services, launched The Gorski and Friends Challenge fundraiser in 2018 to help raise additional funds at the Backpack Buddies Annual Chili Cook-Off.  The Chili Cook-Off along with The Gorski and Friends Challenge benefits the Kiawah Women's Foundation and the Seabrook Island Backpack Buddies Group.  Both organization are 501 (c) (3) nonprofits whose mission is to feed local school children on the weekend and during school holidays.  Currently, more than 540 local children are benefitting from the program each week.

Each year, Mike and Friends (see sponsor page), pledge $1000 each and challenge our island neighbors to match their donations - doubling the impact of their contributions.

In 2020, the Chili Cook-Off (35 chili vendors) was cancelled due to the Covid outbreak, but the Gorksi Challenge continued on.  Mike and 28 additional sponsors joined the challenge with over-the-top results!  Generous donations from Kiawah, Seabrook and Johns Island kept coming in right until the last day.  Mike brought in even more sponsors to match the donations.  The final tally of The Gorski and Friends Challenge (which is usually presented at the Chili Cook-Off) was $80,000.  These funds are split between both backpack buddies organizations.

Given our current situation, we anticipate our numbers of children in need to continue to grow.  With the help of a small group of volunteers, we are continuing to get food to hungry families during this Covid crisis - not an easy task with limited school participation.  To all of the sponsors and donors - please rest assured - your donations are being put to very good use.

Please continue to support as at the 2021 Gorski and Friends Challenge.

2017_11_chili cookoff

Past and Present Events

The Chili Cook-Off - 2016 to present

The Gorski and Friends Challenge - 2017 to present

The Food Truck Rodeo and Silent Auction - 2014 to 2018

Vacation Raffle - 2018

Back to School Bash - 2019

J. McLaughlin Black Friday Sip and Shop - 2013 to present

Lilly Pulitzer Black Friday - 2018 to present

Jersey Mikes - 2020

Seawah Furniture - 2020 



535 Bufflehead Dr.              

Kiawah Island, SC  29455-5791