Chili cook-off raises over $400 for local Red Cross

Published 4:40 am Monday, February 28, 2005

By By Lee Weyhrich
Contestants in First National Bank's chili cook-off had more fun stirring the pot as rivals than stirring their pots as cooks but all the rivalry was for a good cause.
All money raised went to the American Red Cross to help Hurricane Ivan victims.
At least 100 people came to taste test the chili, cast their votes and contribute to a good cause. A bowl of chili could be bought for $1 and it cost $4 to try every culinary delight and vote for one of the four teams.
"It was great, we made over $400 for Red Cross," Dale Hurst the executive vice president and CEO of The First National Bank of Atmore said.
Since it was the first time the bank had done something of this nature they had no idea what to expect.
"We really had no idea since its the first time we did something like this and we learned some things to make it bigger and better next year," Hurst said.
What the bank employees did know is that the winner of this year's contest would have braggin' rights for the year.
"There was a lot of taunting beforehand," Rob Faircloth, a member of Hurst's team and an executive at the bank said. "Everyone said their chili would be the best."
Out of the four teams – the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Nacho Mamas, the Hot Tamale Tellers and the Hot Deposits – the team headed by Shep Marsh, Hurst and Faircloth, the Hot Deposits, won.
"We have braggin rights for a whole year," Hurst said.
In addition to the money raised, everyone involved had a good time.
"It was good for everyone involved, we had a blast," Faircloth said. "Everyone is talking about what to do for the next one."
The bank hopes to make this an annual event.
"It was our first time out of the chute so it was a learning experience," Faircloth said.
A lot of the event's success can be attributed to its organizer.
"Becky Ganey organized it and she deserves the credit," Faircloth said. "She managed a very fair and square competition."
The event organizers wish to thank everyone who came out, participated and donated money, Hurst said.
Besides being a successful fundraiser the event was also a chance to let off a little steam and relax.
"I think it's great, it's good fun for a good cause," Faircloth said Friday morning.
"You don't have to sit behind a desk all day," Hurst added.
"It's kind of like a day off," Faircloth concluded.

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