6th Newton County Christmas for Kids Chili/Non-Chili Cookoff

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time of the year to say… The 6th Annual Newton County Christmas for Kids Chili/Non-Chili Cookoff has come and gone. How on earth can that be? But it’s true. This is one of the largest fundraisers conducted to raise money for Newton County Christmas for Kids. If you’ll remember, last week, there was a blog post on what Newton County Christmas for Kids is and what they accomplish. If you missed that post, I highly suggest you go read it… Now! I’ll wait!

Now that you’re back… This year, the chili cookoff got moved back to the first weekend of November trying to avoid prior commitments… i.e. Halloween parties, The Underwater Pumpkin Carving, Maple Leaf, etc. October seems to be a busy month. The one problem with pushing back so late in the year can be the weather. Now here is where the blogger (that’s me) will tell you about the dream I had… finally.

I was afraid to mention what I thought the weather would be like prior to the event. But, I had a dream that I discussed the weather with Deb and it was going to be pouring down rain. I refused to mention those words prior to the event or even during the event. I left a lot of people wondering what my dream was about. Luckily, the weather held out and it was a beautiful evening. A little windy, but no rain until well after 10 pm when the event was over and we were all cleaned up.

Earlier in the Day

If you’ve never been involved in the set up of one of these events, a lot of behind the scenes work goes on. People work on projects/getting donations for the auction. There are plaques to be ordered and people’s choice awards to be decided upon and purchased. There are awnings/pop-ups to be opened and set. You have to watch the weather. On and on and on… Plus finding people to run the different aspects of the shindig. And in this case, extra chili to be made just in case.

But here’s the thing, we have as much fun at this thing as we hope you do! And the outcome is money raised for deserving children. That’s the ultimate goal. So thank you to everyone who helped in getting this setup. Without you, we’d be at a loss!

The Chili Cookoff

This year we added a few new features to the cookoff. Instead of getting 5 tickets as you entered the gate, people’s choice was $1/vote.

Chili was to be in place by 4:30 pm. We pulled out what was needed for the judges, then it was open at 5 pm for everyone. No waiting this year. We backed our judges down from 5 to 3, but we had 5 people lined up in case someone had a last minute obligation come up they couldn’t get out of. I believe we can term that the 7 P’s (proper prior planning prevents pretty poor performance). Thank you to our judges this year, Donna Ashford, Kris Hunt, and Shirley Mann.

This year we mixed the baked goods in with the regular auction items. The number of baked goods was down this year as well as the number of auction items, to begin with. Just a question… do you guys think that was a good thing or a bad thing? We didn’t plan it that way, it just sort of happened. Let us know, please!

Things to Do

On top of the silent auction and of course the eating of chili and non-chili, there were tables set up for fellowship with friends. Didn’t know someone, walk up and meet them. You can never have enough friends. And this was all about benefiting the children.

We also had the band No Apparent Reason back with us. Along with the band, we had the bounce house back, however, it was so windy he wasn’t able to set the bounce house up. Now, I’m not sure if you paid attention to the kids, but I don’t think they were bored.

The Chili/Non-Chili Cookoff Winners

Now one of the real reasons you’re here… to find out who won, duh!

Non-Chili People’s Choice – Rachele Lord

Chili People’s Choice – Addison Willoughby

3rd Place Chili – Ed Brewer

2nd Place Chili – Jody Payton

1st Place Chili – Joe Johnson

Other changes

We also had a dessert table this year. The desserts were $1 a plate or baggie. I mention both because we had a White Texas Sheet Cake, a Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake, a Pumpkin Texas Sheet Cake, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Peanut Butter Cookies with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in between, and S’mores kits. What more could you ask for? Oh yeah, there were Cinnamon rolls too. Yum!

We had fire pits set up around 1) for roasting those marshmallows. 2) for warmth. 3) because it’s fall and what screams fall more than a nice fire pit?

And I can’t end a post without Kim and Nicole’s tongue photo, am I right? Maybe we should make our own tag just so I can link to every time Kim and I have done this… just a thought.

And Jody wanted in on that action too. Your welcome!

Guys, the real reason, to raise funds for Christmas for Kids. And the total was…. $2,700. Thank you to all who came out! Now, let the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons commence.

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