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The North Fork Women's Club hosted its annual chili cook off fundraiser Saturday at Bandit Town

Chili Cook Off Spices Up Bandit Town

NORTH FORK — The North Fork Women’s Club held their annual chili cook off Saturday at Bandit Town — and the competition was hot and spicy.

“We had 11 entrants this year in the chili competition. It’s one of our biggest cook offs ever,” said Vicki Young, whose been involved with the North Fork Women’s Club for more than a decade.

A panel of three “celebrity” judges awarded the blue ribbon for first place and the more than two hundred people who attended the event also voted for their first and second place “People’s Choice” winners.

The event was also billed as a “bake off” — and prizes were awarded for “best pie” and “best cake.”

“We hold a lot of different events throughout the year but the chili cook off is our biggest fundraiser,” Young said.

The North Fork Women’s Club was started in 1946 by Judge Marcia Putney. The club’s mission is to support the educational activities of area students — especially female students.

The nonprofit group, one of the area’s oldest community organizations, meets in the CDC building at the Old Mill Site the first Wednesday of every month at 10 a.m.

The cake and pie competition

“Our club raises money for scholarships for three or four female high school graduates every year from the mountain community,” Young said. “We also try to help with funding various activities at the local schools.”

Young said the club currently has about 30 or 40 “active” members. “We’re always looking for new, younger members because some of us are getting old,” she joked.

Jennifer McMillan, owner of Bandit Town, donated the use of the facility for the chili cook off. Later Saturday evening, she also opened the popular event center to host the North Fork Chamber’s Oktoberfest celebration.

“I like to help support our community and the organizations that make it work,” McMillan said Saturday while sampling some of the chili recipes herself. Her three-year-old son Wyatt said he liked his dad’s chili best but also made a pretty good dent in a package of Nutter Butter cookies while playing with other local kids enjoying the afternoon event.

“Jen McMillan has been absolutely wonderful and really helps us out by letting us use Bandit Town for the cook off,” Young said. “This event would not be nearly as successful in some more ordinary setting.”

Entertainment at the cook off was provided by the Whiskey Creek band, a local group that graciously volunteered their musical services to entertain the chili-munching attendees.

“We appreciate everyone who came out to support our club,” said club president Marcie Favelo. “The generosity shown by the mountain folk is fantastic.”

This year’s winners:
Best pie for $25 was Sue Novell;
Best cake for $25 was Erin Visuglie;
2nd place Peoples Choice for $25 was Chipotle chjli con carne by Sandro Delgado;
1st place Peoples Choice for $75 was Old Town chili by Whitey Morgan;
1st place Judges choice for $100 was Chipotle chili con carne by Sandra Delgado.

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