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Sunflower announces chili cook-off

Sunflower Diversified Services will host the seventh annual Charity Chili Cook-off on Saturday, Nov. 12. The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Forest Ave, just west of the Barton County Courthouse.
There is no entry fee for cooks with all proceeds from tasters going directly to the Barton County Food Bank in Great Bend.
“The local food bank needs ongoing community support to assist folks in meeting nutritional needs,” said Sarah Krom, Sunflower community supports coordinator. “Participants in the chili cook-off will be able to take personal satisfaction in contributing to this worthy cause.” The event has been well attended and fun for participants and tasters for the last 6 years, Krom added.

At least 3 gallons of chili must be prepared off-site and served warm; more than that amount is encouraged. Electricity can be provided but entrants must bring their own extension cords and tape to secure them. Entrants are encouraged to look at alternative methods of heat to maintain temperature of their chili due to this year’s location.
Judging categories include Individual, Commercial and Team entrants. Team entrants must have a minimum of a chief cook and one assistant, with a maximum of six adults per team. The chili must be ready to serve by 11 a.m. when tasting and the blind judging will begin. Three local celebrities will serve as official judges considering flavor, texture, consistency, aroma and presentation.
Entrants are encouraged to develop themes and decorate booths to add to the fun with an additional award for people’s choice booth décor.
This year there is a new award for the participants 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.

The public is encouraged to join in with the purchase of a $5 taster bracelet and select the People’s Choice Chili and Best Booth award winners. For an extra donation tasters can follow their chili with a fresh cinnamon roll. The People’s Choice voting will end at 1:45 p.m. and all awards announced around 2 p.m.
“Sunflower truly enjoys reaching out to central Kansans and showing our appreciation for all they do for people with developmental disabilities served by Sunflower,” Krom said. “We welcome chili cooks to join in this effort by preparing and serving their favorite chili. We encourage the public to come out, have a taste, and support the community food bank in the process.”
Sunflower, a non-profit agency, serves babies, toddlers and adults with developmental disabilities in Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Rush and Stafford counties.