K of C host 19th Annual Chili Cook Off for Charity


By Aaron Jahn

Over 140 people gathered at the Knights of Columbus Hall last Saturday to enjoy good chili for a good cause.

Ten teams competed in a hard fought contest for the judges and the patrons gastronomical choice and the winners split the monies raised and donated them to their charity of choice.  Mike Specht has been organizing the event for the last three years and he says that while ticket sales started a bit slow this year, they raised even more than they did last year.

“Better than I expected, I was kind of leery, the ticket sales went slow, but a lot of people came through for us and I’m very pleased with it,” said Specht.  “Next year. We’re going to do a few things differently, but we’re already planning for next year, we might even see some live entertainment.”

Specht says that they approach organizations and ask them to place a team and this year was no different, but that one organization in particular really came through for them when they had a last minute drop out.


Grand Knight Scott Brown (L) stands with the Judges Choice winner representative Mark Denunzio and Cook Off organizer Mike Specht as they present Denunzio and the Legion 2 team with their winners plaque.

“We have a list that we start with (organizations to participate) and I call the people on the list and ask them if they want to participate, I’m surprised the Legion put in two teams this year, they only had one team last year,” said Specht.  “Big Brother’s and Big Sister’s really came through for me, they asked if they could get in about a week ago but I already had my ten contestants.  Now Thursday when the one team backed out, I got on the phone and asked Gisele if they could do, and she called me back almost right away and said they could do it.”

This year’s teams were judged by Town Councilor Bart Dipasquale, Police Chief Tim Berthiaume, Father Brian Jean and St. John the Baptist Council member Anita Gibb.  The judges had some tough choices to make, but chose the Legion 2 team as the victors, while Cindy London took home the people’s choice award as their favourite.

The Knights were able to raise over $1460, with the winner taking home fifty per cent of the winnings to donate to Community Services.  The rest of the money was divided between second and third place, with St. Vincent De Paul and the Amherstburg Mission included in the charities that received money.  Specht says that the amount raised was “phenomenal”.

“More people came out this year, and the prize money is based completely on ticket sales.”


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