Rotary chili cookoff to feature restaurants, benefit charity

Mike Hill, treasurer of the Fulton Rotary Club, works the Callaway Bank booth during the 2011 chili cook-off. This year's cook-off features a restaurant category, and all proceeds will go to local charities.

Mike Hill, treasurer of the Fulton Rotary Club, works the Callaway Bank booth during the 2011 chili cook-off. This year's cook-off features a restaurant category, and all proceeds will go to local charities.

It’s almost impossible to predict the weather for the first week of fall in mid-Missouri, but Sept. 29 calls for a ‘chili’ forecast in Fulton.

In addition to raising funds for several area charities, the 2nd annual Fulton Rotary Club Chili Cook-off will also feature a new category for restaurants and institutions to showcase their recipes alongside individual chili chefs.

Check-in for the cook-off will begin 9-10 a.m. Sept. 29, with judging at noon. There is a $20 entrant fee for entrants registered before Sept. 15, a $30 fee for anyone registering between then and the day of the event and a $5 sampling fee for people who just want to eat. All proceeds will go towards local charities such as United Way, Boy and Girl Scouts, the YMCA and SERVE, Inc. The Rotary Club will match up to $1,000 in donations.

All chili must be prepared on site, and entrants will compete for Judges’ and People’s Choice prizes. It is a prize Gary Vaught, owner of Beks, hopes to take home in the inaugural restaurant category.

“I was a judge last year, and (Rotarian Marcia Lamons) asked me if I’d like to enter,” said Vaught. “It’s the first year they’ve introduced restaurants. It’s a great idea and of course (for) the local charities... we always try to participate, and of course cooking is right up our alley.”

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