“You learn a lot about someone when you share a meal together.” – Anthony Bourdain
What could be happening that Mary Poppins serves up cotton candy to a pair of Jurassic Park dinosaurs? How are Beauty & the Beast characters being next-door neighbors to the wizarding world of Harry Potter? Why are Dorothy & Toto interacting with Mowgli and friends from Jungle Book? It is all part of this year’s storybook-themed 37th Annual Chili Cook-Off presented by A&G Concrete Pools to benefit Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County.
Local business formed a total of thirty-three teams using a storybook that paralleled their business mission or philosophies. Their creativity ranged from the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office recognizing their detective skills with the book ’39 Clues’, The Treasure Coast Food Bank playing on the title ‘The Hunger Games’, and St. Lucie Battery & Tire having a Volkswagen Beetle surround by stacks of their tires for their depiction of ‘Herbie -The Love Bug’.
The fun had at the Chili Cook-Off starts with a foundation of competition for bragging rights and recognitions of serving up the best chili of the event. This year’s winner for the Jim Lamb Memorial Competition Chili Award was the husband and wife combo team from Tradition Family Chiropractic and Tradition Parkway Dental. The second and third place recognitions went to Seacoast Bank and WPSL/WSTU – Early Learning Coalition respectively.
The audience had the opportunity to get in on the action by voting for the prestigious People’s Choice Award. This year’s awards went to St. Lucie County Firefighters Benevolent for first place with Dyer Chevrolet and Fort Pierce Utilities Authority earning the silver and bronze recognitions.
“To be able to positively affect so many of our youth through an event centered around delicious chili is win-win for our community. The nearly $80,000 raised in just one day by Chili teams and patrons of the event will make a big difference in programs we will provide to our Clubkids.” said Will Armstead,CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County
Next year’s theme will reflect on the 25th Anniversary of Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County by reflecting on anything connected or related to the year ‘1994’. Applications and signups are already available to those who want a 12-month head start.
This year’s winners: