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2011 Chili Challenge set for March 2 in Park Rapids

Chili Challenge

Gear up your appetite; fire up the taste buds.

Once again, a creative band of chili chefs has stepped up to satisfy appetites and raise money for the Hubbard County Food Shelf during the March drive.

Twenty-one pots of chili will be burbling when samplers arrive for the second annual Chili Challenge, hosted by the Park Rapids Enterprise.

The epicurean event, seasoned with humor and music, will be held from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 2 at the Park Rapids American Legion.

All are welcome to sample the chili; a dollar buys a dollop (small cupful).

Like the Dorset democracy, a buck buys a "vote." The chili chef/s who produce the most votes (bucks) wins the coveted People's Choice Award.

Ballot box stuffing and early voting is not only allowed but encouraged.

This year's merry band of "nothin' but crock" chefs includes returning fundraising champ Citizens National Bank who will be Just Chili-n.

State Bank is arriving with a pot of Chili Chili Bang Bang.

Northwoods Bank is adding WOW! to the mix.

And TruStar Federal Credit Union has joined the ruckus, contributing Simply Great Chili.

Hubbard County sheriff Cory Aukes will be Packin' Heat.

"The Other Bill Jones" will be firing BJ's Buck Shot Chili.

Nevis chili cook-off winner John Nicklawksi will inflict some extrajudicial punishment with his Code Red stew.

But fear not. Two teams from St. Joseph's Area Health Services will arrive to "medicate" with Blanc de Pullet and MoJoe Chili.

The Good Life Café will send some Great Balls of Fire down digestive tracts.

Food shelf volunteer Bob Berdahl intends to add some wild game to the mix.

Blue Star Mamas will concoct Freedom Chili.

Cateress Lynne Denman and husband Leroy (a.k.a. Ole and Lena) are contributing memorable kettles of Roadkill Chili.

Deborah Newman will take taste buds to Santa Fe All the Way.

LeAnn Moen is making a mean batch of Big, Bad Buffalo Chili.

The Friends of the Library are undergoing metamorphosis to become Fiends of the Li-beanery.

And Beagle Books' Jennifer Wills Geraedts has added a specific menu item to her credo: Eat Chili. Sleep. Read.

Dacle Schmid has engaged his fellow parishioners at First English Lutheran in Dorset to come up with creative fare, dubbed Boys' Blend.

Mary Kay reps Kristina Yliniemi and Sue Tomte will be stemming the aging process and adding some passion with their buckets of beans.

And the Osage Lions have engaged Leo to create a Luscious Lion brew.

Last year's challenge raised $4,500 for the food shelf, including the raffle for the Crazy Quilters' handiwork.

This year, woodcarver Bob Landrigan has donated a loon, crafted from rare and beautiful butternut and walnut, to be raffled.

The Crazy Quilters are again on board, having donated a quilt for the cause.

Raffle tickets will be available at the Chili Challenge.

Fran Gack will return to share her musical talents.

Enterprise chef Candy Parks will create a neutral vat of chili (for those of timid taste) with a freewill offering received for a bowlful.

And the Enterprise chocolatiers will arrive with decadent desserts to top off the tasting.

All funds raised will be contributed to the Hubbard County Food Shelf.