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Taste-Testing

7-year-old Jonny Tibbs takes a bite of chili during the Upper Township Volunteer Fire Department Chili Cook-off Saturday at the fire station;

7-year-old Jonny Tibbs takes a bite of chili during the Upper Township Volunteer Fire Department Chili Cook-off Saturday at the fire station;

 

 

HECLA — It was utopia for chili lovers at Upper Township Fire Department on Saturday during its second-annual chili cook-off.

More than 15 chili recipes could be sampled for either a donation of $2 or $1 and a nonperishable food item. More than 10 vendors also had displays at the event.

“There are great vendors here and some great chili,” Michael Walker, membership sales manager for Air Evac Lifeteam, said. “It’s well worth two bucks, that’s for sure.”

Air Evac was selling memberships at the event and a portion of money from those sales was donated to the Upper Township Volunteer Fire Department. Air Evac’s helicopter was also on display.

Campbell Chapel’s Backpack Buddies program was another vendor at the event and was giving away free apples and bread to patrons.

“We are just trying to promote health and make the community aware we are here,” Jodie Hunt, program director, said.

Pampered Chef, Pink Zebra salesperson Tammi Caudill, Scentsy vendor Kim Tibbs, Auties BOWtique owner Amanda Abrams, quilt maker Brenda Justice and baked goods by Angela Brammer were some other vendors at the cook-off.

Money raised from the cook-off will be used for equipment the department needs to buy periodically, J.D. Pancake, Upper Township Fire Chief, said.

“We have our levy on the ballot this year and we just want to show the community how much we appreciate them,” Pancake said. “The community is and has been very supportive of us.”

The department receives around $60,000 a year from two levies, Upper Township Fiscal Officer Tyler Walters said, and most of that is spent on workers’ compensation and insurance.

“The department depends on fundraisers like these to buy the equipment and gear they need throughout the year,” Walters said. “Luckily we have been really good at getting grants that help, too.”

Canned food donated at the cook-off was given to the Backpack Buddies program at Campbell Chapel.

First, second and third-place prizes were awarded in both judge’s and people’s choice categories. Carl and Janet Justice won judge’s choice first-place and Campbell Chapel Youth Group claimed top prize for people’s choice.

Pancake was pleased with the turnout and plans to continue the event annually.