It was time to vote and opinions were definitely divided.
Some people like fruit in their chili and other’s don’t.
At Sunflower Diversified Service’s annual Chili Cook-off on Saturday, those who purchased a taster’s kit could sample seven batches of chili, including the Great Bend Tribune team’s Paradise Chili with pork and pineapple. The 2 Jive Turkeys team served pumpkin chili, pumpkin punch and pumpkin cake. They handed out “Gooble ‘til you wobble” buttons to remind tasters to remember them when voting for the People’s Choice awards for Best Chili and Best Booth. They also had jive turkey hats and a photo shoot area, with a fall background and fun props.
Others offered more traditional chili samples, as each team had a different take on America’s favorite fall stew. Members of Sunflower Diversified Service’s own Community Habilitation Services (CHS) team, “Football Fans,” offered to serve their chili on a bun with a hot dog, while others offered crackers or corn chips, shredded cheese and other flavor enhancers.
The proceeds from this fundraiser go to the Barton County Food Bank, according to Sarah Krom with Sunflower.
This year there was a new award for the participant with the most enthusiasm. “The Lance Stevens Award was created to recognize a longtime participant, no longer with us, who always brought his own special brand of humor to the event,” Krom said earlier in the year.
Team 2 Jive Turkeys won the award, then presented the plaque to Dakota Stevens, the son of the award’s namesake, who was on the Even Stevens team.
The winners were:
Business Division - 1st, Nex-Tech (Tailgaters team); 2nd, Great Bend Tribune (Paradise Chili, by Char Beaver)
Individual - 1st, Sterling McAllister (Nana’s Chili, or Grandma’s Chili)
Team -1st, 2 Jive Turkeys (Michael Beaver and Laura Mason); 2nd, Chili Taste Buds (Jane Isern, Gail Carpenter, Roxanne Rich and Maggie Lee); 3rd, Sunflower CHS Division (Hannah Laurin, Jesse Garcia and Tagan Brown); and special recognition went to Even Stevens (Steven Crawford and Dakota Stevens).
People’s Choice Chili - Chili Taste Buds
Best Booth - 2 Jive Turkeys
Sunflower, a non-profit agency, serves babies, toddlers and adults with developmental disabilities in Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Rush and Stafford counties.
This story was updated on Nov. 14 to correct the name Laura Mason.