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The Telegram
  • Red Cross Chili Challenge set for Feb. 10

  • Professional and amateur chefs will once again compete to serve up the area’s best chili.

    The 11th annual Chili Challenge to benefit the Mohawk Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross will take place on Sunday, Feb. 10, from noon to 3 p.m. at Francesca’s Banquets and Catering in Ilion.

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  • Professional and amateur chefs will once again compete to serve up the area’s best chili.
    The 11th annual Chili Challenge to benefit the Mohawk Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross will take place on Sunday, Feb. 10, from noon to 3 p.m. at Francesca’s Banquets and Catering in Ilion.
    Usually held on the Sunday after the Super Bowl, the event has regularly attracted more than 300 people looking for a tasty way to stay warm in the middle of winter.
    “No football, no problem. The Chili Challenge is a great way to spend the Sunday between the Super Bowl and school break,” Jennifer Balog, community chapter executive of the Mohawk Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, said during a Thursday press conference at NBT Bank in Herkimer. “This is a fun event that helps us with our serious mission of providing comfort to the people who need it most throughout the Mohawk Valley.”
    “What’s better comfort food than a nice hot bowl of chili? And taken from that through the challenge event-goers will help provide comfort and support to the American Red Cross,” said American Red Cross Mohawk Valley Board Chairman Christopher Bray.
    Balog said the Chili Challenge is one of the Mohawk Valley Chapter’s top fundraisers.
    Proceeds from the event will provide relief to victims of disasters and help people prevent, prepare and respond to emergencies, as Balog said working families in the Mohawk Valley often require emergency assistance for house fires, flooding and other disasters.
    “Last year, the Mohawk Valley Chapter assisted 137 families affected by disasters, provided 228 emergency communications to members of the armed forces and their families and trained 16,997 individuals in CPR, first aid and other health and safety courses in Herkimer, Oneida and Otsego counties,” she said.
    The competition will include a Restaurant League and an Amateur League, with award categories in each league, including People’s Choice, Most Unique, Best Presentation and Hottest in the Restaurant League and People’s Choice and Most Creative in the Amateur League. The family-friendly event will also include a 50/50 raffle, a beer tasting and entertainment and music by DJ Kenny the Promo Guy.
    Those attending the Chili Challenge will have the chance to vote for their favorites.
    Competitors will include Dominick’s Deli, Froggy’s Take-out, Heidelberg Cafe, PK’s Pub, Fairways Restaurant and Salvatore’s Sorrento in the Restaurant League, and Assemblyman Marc Butler, Frank “Rusty” Brown of the Central New York Labor Agency, Herkimer County Sheriff Christopher Farber, Markus Neckerman, Matt Powers and the Kuyahoora Valley Ambulance Corps in the Amateur League.
    Tickets are $10 and will be available at the door.
    Francesca’s Banquets and Catering is located at 144 E. Main St.

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