Bank cooks chili for charity

Published 4:29 am Wednesday, February 23, 2005

By By Lee Weyhrich
Friday you better have a cold drink and an empty stomach because First National is cooking chili.
First National Bank of Atmore is holding its first ever chili cook-off Friday from 10 a.m. until the chili runs out and will be held in the parking lot of the bank.
The Chili cook-off is serving the dual purpose of reaching out in the community as well as raising money for charity.
"All the proceeds will go to the American Red Cross and will go to hurricane victims in Atmore," Becky Ganey a secretary in the loan department, and the head of this event said. "We're trying to do more activities within the bank and it was just an idea one of the employees had."
Cook-off contestants will be bank employees and the general public will do judging, Ganey said.
"There will be about four teams and it will cost $4 to try everything," Ganey said. The public will be the judge and will cast their votes for their favorite team.
Ganey is part of an employee activity organization committee.
"Each person on the team is responsible for heading one activity throughout the year and this is the one I chose," Ganey said. "The group was formed so we can get the employees to work better together and have a better sense of unity."
This particular event is also causing quite a bit of competition within the bank.
"There is already some stiff competition and there's already been a lot of trash talking at the bank so it will be a tough contest," Ganey said.
Cathy Johns, assistant vice president and trust officer to the bank, is on one of the cook-off teams and she is already feeling the competitive urge building.
"It's going to be lots of fun and [our team] going to have bragging rights," Johns said. "We're going to have the best by far."
Johns believes her team has the edge it takes to win.
" As my husband Mike says, never trust a skinny cook," Johns laughed. " We're just going to have a lot of fun out there."
Fun after all is a lot of the purpose for this program. The most important purpose for the program, however is to raise money for the Red Cross.
"The idea is for the whole community to enjoy a cup of chili and help put some money back in the hands of the Red Cross," Johns said. "We just want to raise as much money as we possibly can so donations will be accepted."
Johns feels that a chili cook-off has a dual purpose.
"I guess its a two part event," Johns said. "One part is generating money for the Red Cross and trying to give back to the community. The second part is for our employees to have fun and get involved in the community."
As far as the competition goes Johns wants everyone to vote for her team so she can get the bragging rights.
"We want all customers to come to the green and white striped tent to cast your votes," Johns said.
If the weather permits the chili tasting will occur outside in the parking lot but in the event of bad weather the food will be moved inside to the back of the bank.

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