United Way Chili Cook-off winners announced
The United Way's "Nursery Rhyme-Chili Time" Chili Cook-off, held on Wednesday at the Paul Bunyan Mall, was the opening for the United Way's 24th annual campaign for the community.
Thirty-five cooks took part in the event. More than 520 people attended the event and $2,418.09 was raised for the United Way campaign.
During the program, Johnny Lee Walker, United Way campaign vice chair, along with help from Pam Beard, communications committee member, announced the total raised by nine Pacesetter businesses. Pacesetters set the pace for United Way's campaign by conducting their workplace campaigns early and through employee giving, corporate commitments and internal fundraisers.
They raised a total of $121,025.50, which is 29 percent of the United Way's overall campaign goal of $417,000.
The 2010 Pacesetter businesses are Beltrami Electric Cooperative, First National Bank Bemidji, JCPenney, North Country Business Products, North Country Health Services, Potlatch, RiverWood Bank, Target and United Parcel Service.
The Chili Cook-off had five celebrity judges: Bill Maki, Bemidji State University; Dave Brooks, Paul Bunyan Broadcasting; Mark Ricci, RP Broadcasting; Danelle Cauble, VisitBemidji; and Dennis Weimann, Lakeland News. They judged based on the aroma, taste, texture, appearance and creativity.
Awards to chili cooks were given in various categories:
First Place Celebrity Division Chili: Paul Bunyan Broadcasting
First Place Business Division Chili: First Realty
First Place Restaurant Division Chili: Cabin Coffeehouse
First Place Corporate Division Chili: Kraus Anderson
First Place Non-Profit Division Chili: Bemidji Jaycees
Most Creative Chili Cook Award: Kraus Anderson - Peter's Pumpkin Patch Café
Best Presentation Award: Bemidji State University - Goldilocks and the three Beavers
Best Name Award: RiverWood Bank - Mrs. Tuhl's Toot-Toot Fuel
Taster's Choice: North Country Business Products with $51.03
Best Overall Chili Award: Cabin Coffeehouse
The United Way campaign for the community will run through Oct. 31. Funds raised will support United Way community impact initiatives and year-round programs that address new and emerging needs.