Chili Cook off breaks the winter blahs and brings the community together with music and fun

By Alberta Stojkovic

April 1, 2014

The Copy Cats from Whetstone Industries got the party started at the Community Center’s Chili Cook off last Sunday. Their enthusiasm lit up the room and rocked the hall as the audience clapped and tapped their toes to the Copy Cats’ tunes.

19 people plugged in their crock pots and served cups of chili while four judges tasted chili samples. There was something for everyone with chili, hot dogs and brats, music, line dancing and some friendly trash talk among chili competitors!

The Mt. Gilead High School Show Choir followed the Copy Cats in entertaining more than 200 guests during the afternoon. They turned out in their sparkling gold and purple attire to charm the audience and keep their toes tapping. Marlene and Steve Renick gave a demonstration of the Tai Chi classes at the Community Center and Roger and Nancy Wren got people on their feet for line dancing at the end of the afternoon.

Chairmen for the event Rosemary Levings and Lisa Saunders thanked several sponsors and contributors. Gale Slack of Singing Springs in Cardington donated bratwurst for the event. Joe Hupfer of True Value in Mount Gilead contributed door prizes, Wendy’s contributed napkins and cups, sponsors were Andy Bower of Edward Jones and Allen Stojkovic. Seniors on Center, Copy Cats of Whetstone and United Way Board members also got thanks for their help from Levings and Saunders.

Those who cooked chili were: Mitch Chambers, Lisa Saunders, Whetstone Cooking Cougars, Whetstone Industries Crafty Cookers, Don Overton, Lamara Rogers, Clint Rogers, Bob Davidson, Brenda Harden, Jodi Hayes, Craig Edgell, Dr. Allen Stojkovic, Andy Bower of Edward Jones, Carol Holsinger, Douglas Arno, Rachel Ambler and Richard Belvin.

The four judges for the event were: Edison Mayor, Sandy Ackerman, Mount Gilead Mayor, Mike Porter, Erin Kelty of First Knox National Bank and Darrell Levings.

The chili was judged on five criteria: color, aroma, consistency, taste and after-taste. Prizes were awarded in three categories for Unique, Spiciest, and Traditional. The top three in each were: Unique first place went to Whetstone Crafty Cookers, 2nd went to Craig Edgell of Rolling Dough Pizza, and third to Allen Stojkovic. In the Traditional category Mitch Chambers took first place, 2nd went to Richard Belvin and third to Clint Rogers. Spiciest first place trophy was awarded to Bob Davidson, 2nd place went to Doug Arno and third to Clint Rogers.

Mike Porter commented that the completion was very close. He said there was a lot of good chili in the house Sunday and it wasn’t easy for the judges to choose winners in any of the categories.

The event raised more than $900.00 for the Morrow County Community Center’s programs for youth and families.