Chili Cookoff “Hot” Event In Town Last Saturday

Chairperson Donna Mackel was busy sampling the chilis brought in for this year's competition. Throughout the evening, various performers entertained those attending. E-R Photo

Nearly 300 persons turned out Saturday night to have their taste buds treated to some of the best chili around.

The third annual Chili Cook-Off was held at the KC Hall. Spearheaded by Donna Mackel with the assistance of a number of volunteers as well as members of the Elgin Chamber of Commerce, the event provided a welcome respite from months of Winter.

Chili, a food associated with cold weather, can be made in a wide variety of ways. Such was the case as more than 15 different chili recipes were served.

The entries were judged in three categories. The winners were:

Hot Chili — Jason Hoefer, first; Jenni VonBonn, second.

Mild Chili — Jodine Meis, first; Anne Parks, second.

Unique Chili — Danelle Charf. first; Tracy Prater, second.

Best Overall Chili – Jenni VonBonn.

Others providing chili for the event were Father Dan Andrews, Jeanne Peters, Doris Baum, Lynell Morgan, Julie Jochum, Judy Zegers, Jerry Heithoff, Bob Moore, Jodine Meis, Jayne Arehart and Helen Hall of Bartlett.

Judges for the event were Tom Eischeid, Diane Kluthe, Jeanine Jochum, and Jay Snider of Clearwater.

Entertaining those in attendance during a jam session prior to the variety show were Dale and Joyce Wilkinson of Neligh, Lyle Mackel, Eddie Starman and Julie Jochum of Elgin, and Helen Hall and friends of Bartlett.

Mackel said 11 different groups took part in the Variety Show. Carey Eischeid sang the “Star Spangled Banner” to start the variety show. Serving as master of ceremonies for the evening activities was Gary Hoefer.

Performing at the variety show were Pat Baum of Albion, Elgin Public School Trio — Caitlin Mortenson, Bethany Kallhoff and Nathan Niewohner, accompanied by Deb Jones; Tracey  and Carey Eischeid and Jordan Engle of Pope John Central Catholic School, accompanied by Pat Miller;  Father Dan Andrews; St. Boniface Mens’ Choir consisting of Jerry Heithoff, Lynn Selting, Don and Lyle Mackel, Nathan Niewohner, Don Moser, Mike Dwyer, Eddie Starman, LeRoy Kerkman and Jordan Engle, accompanied by Rosie Schueths; Helen Hall of Bartlett; Mike Dwyer, and St. Boniface Ladies’ Choir which included Juan Hoefer, Margie Baum, Mary Jane Henn, Shirley Meis, Eve Kallhoff, Donna Mackel, Karlene Moser, Lindy Borer, Julie Jochum and LeAnne Skillstad, accompanied by Rosie Schueths.             

Serving on the committee organizing the event were, in addition to Mackel, Juan Hoefer, Margaret Dozler, Connie Nelson, Gwen Koinzan, Doris Baum and Jeanne Peters.

Proceeds from the event will go to the Elgin Endowment Fund.