Maryville Rotary warms up for education with Chili Cook-off

The annual Rotary Club of Maryville Chili Cook-off raised $3,500 and gave more than 200 folks the chance to taste good chili and hear the band Slow Joe Crow.

“It was a fantastic event. Everyone had a good time, and we found all sorts of new people who really want to participate next year that didn’t have awareness of the event,” Rotary member John Huffman said. “It was a great day, a great event, and we raised the money we needed.”

The Chili Cook-off was held Oct. 24 at The Shed at Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson Buell. The money the group raised will go toward their annual effort to buy dictionaries for every third grade student in the Blount County and Maryville City school systems. The Alcoa Rotary Club raises money to cover the cost of dictionaries for third grade students in the Alcoa City School System.

The first place winner in the chili contest was Barbara Jenkins with the Maryville City Schools Foundation. The winner of the People’s Choice Award was Walland Elementary School supporter Floyd Cable. The Best Booth Decoration award went to Monterrey restaurant.

Rotary president Jeff Eberting said that given the tough economy and cold weather, turnout for the event surpassed his expectations. “The turnout was astounding, and the band Slow Joe Crow was off the charts,” he said.

The weather was overcast and chilly. “The weather was appropriate for the food we were serving,” he said.

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