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Upper Township VFD hosts chili cook off

Event fundraiser to support department


UPPER TOWNSHIP— After February’s snowy weather postponed the original date, the Upper Township Volunteer Fire Department finally got to host its chili cook off Saturday at the station.

“This is the third year of our chili cook off,” fire chief J.D. Pancake said. We’re having a pretty good time.”

From 11 a.m.-3 p.m., community residents came and went trying all of the chili that was entered in the competition.

“There’s a people’s choice and a judges’ choice,” Pancake said. “The Lawrence County Air Evac Lifeteam flight crew is judging.”

The fire department had plaques made at CJT’s Custom Apparel and Sign Co. for the winners of both, Pancake said.

The cost was $2 to sample all of the chili or $1 and a canned food item for the BackPack Buddies organization of the Campbell Chapel Freewill Baptist Church, which was one of the vendors as well. Other vendors at the cook off were Mary Kay and the Air Evac Lifeteam.

“Without the vendors that we have, this wouldn’t be possible,” Pancake said.

Cassandra Kelley, of Ironton, was one of the entries in the cook off with her “promise chili” recipe.

“I’ve entered this before, but this is the first time using this recipe,” she said. “I’ve been trying to cook different things and broaden my horizons in the kitchen. I’ve been getting really good feedback on it.”

Kitts Hill resident Nathaniel Johnson had one of the spicier chilis in the competition, with a recipe he likes to call “N8’s hot chili,” using Dave’s Ghost Pepper hot sauce.

“I entered the same chili last year, but I changed the sauce this year,” he said. “I’ve also entered Coal Grove’s chili cook off before, but I’ve missed the last couple of those.”

Pancake said the money raised from the cook off will help pay for firemen to go to Lawrence County Fire School this year as well as some new equipment.

“We have very little funding,” Pancake said. “Having the chili cook off helps because fundraising and donations are our main source of income.”