As the weather gets cooler, what is the best thing to warm you up? Chili.
Interact club, Chardon Rotary, Chardon Service Learning, AC4P, and the new Leardership class teamed up to host the 19th Annual Chili Cook Off on Friday, October 4th at 5:30 through 7:00 pm in the CHS cafeteria. Students could partake of desserts, corn bread, and all- you-could-eat chili, all for a $5.00 ticket.
The Cook Off took place right before Friday night football, where the Hilltoppers faced off against Brush High School. It was also the day Chardon hosted Hall of Fame Night. . Chili-makers got in for free, and had the chance to win an array of prizes. All money was donated to Project Hope for the Homeless and the Su Casa Catholic Worker Foundation. The Cook Off raised over $500 for the charities.
The CHS Chili Cook Off started in 2001 in order to raise money for the fire firefighters and those lost during the tragic event of 9/11. Since then, the Cook Off brings our staff and students, and our community together to raise money for great causes.
Mr. Brown, adviser to Chardon Service Learning and Interact Club said,” What I like about the Chili Cook Off is we found another way to raise money, but In a different way. No one has Chili Cook Off’s to raise money.”
Every year the two clubs find a different foundation to raise money for. In the past, they have raised money for 9/11, the homeless, and Wounded Warriors.
“This year we have more ‘momentum and steam’” CHS principal Mr. Murray said, referencing the many steaming crock pots of homemade chili. This year the Interact Club put all of their strength into marketing the Cook Off. Club members spread the word faster and over a wider area than years prior.
”This year will be a good year,” said assistant principal and first-time contestant Mr. Higham.
Staff and students acknowledge limitations about the current cafeteria space where the Cook Off was held. Mr. Murray said that he hopes for a new school building to facilitate educational and fundraising experiences like the Chili Cook Off, but without the threat of overloading the power grid while trying to cook 10 different chilis at one time. Despite these capacity problems,Murray said that students, staff, and community members worked together to make this event happen.
There were three categories to enter: students, educators, and adults.
Sophomore Mallory Tepley took home the students’ prize. She won a $20 gift card to Chipotle and a batch of Chardon parent Tina Cox’s chocolate-covered peanut butter crackers.
For the educators, assistant principal Mr. Bandiera won. He also won Mrs.Cox’s delicious treats and a $25 Joey’s Italian Grille gift card.
The community member adult winner was eighth grade guidance counselor Mr. Kovach’s grandmother. She won two Dairy Queen certificates along with Mrs.Cox’s treats. Second place winners took home an author- signed book by Amy Neumann called Simple Acts to Change the World: 500 Ways to Make a Difference as well as Chardon gear.
Hope you made it to the Cook Off, but If you missed out or are still hungry for chili, Interact Club will see you next year.