Marissa Kappus, Public Relations Coordinator
Boys & Girls Clubs Turn Up the Heat at 40th Annual Chili Cook-Off
PORT ST. LUCIE, FL: Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County spiced things up over the weekend at their 40th Annual Chili Cook-Off presented by A&G Concrete Pools, Inc. The longest-running St. Lucie County event returned to Clover Park on Saturday, October 22nd and featured live music, art displays, trick-or-treating, a vintage car show and, of course, heaps of chili.
For years, the cook-off was held at various venues throughout the county before finding its way to Clover Park, the Spring Training home of the New York Mets. The stadium provided chili-eaters with a scenic backdrop to mingle with community leaders, take part in festivities and explore the many flavors of chili.
Participating teams in this year’s event were faced with the challenge of representing a country of their choice to fit the “Around the World” theme. From booth decor to chili flavors, the 23 teams brought the heat with hopes of winning the coveted Best Booth Award. In the end, the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office took the win with their fully constructed Irish Pub.
St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy and Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County Board Chair Brian Hester said, “We love to take part in the Boys & Girls Clubs Chili Cook-Off because of the way that it brings our community together for a common cause – our youth.”
The fun, of course, did not end with the team booths. Eventgoers witnessed performances by Ballet Folklorico de Guadalajara, Wild Roses Dancers, Boys & Girls Clubs Taekwondo, the Future Generations Drumline, and so much more.
“It is incredible to think this event has been taking place for 40 years, and it was amazing to be part of it.” said A&G Concrete Pools CEO Travis Leonard
When it was finally time for the highly anticipated announcement to crown a new chili champion, Florida Youth of the Year Mia Morrison and A&G Concrete Pools CEO Travis Leonard took the stage to announce Seacoast Bank as the 2022 1st Place Best Chili Award recipient followed closely by St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office and The Mortgage Works. And, while the prestigious titles were distributed to teams, the real winners, of course, are the thousands of Club members in the 23 Boys & Girls Clubs throughout St. Lucie County. Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County CEO, Will Armstead, said, “Events like the Chili Cook-Off give our community the opportunity to come together to support our local youth. The im
pact it has on our Clubs is immeasurable and we can’t thank St. Lucie County enough.”