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Chili cook-off serves about 200, raises money for shelter

October 18, 2004|by TRISH RUDDER/Staff Writer

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - About 200 people braved a cool and windy day to eat chili at the annual chili cook-off at Coolfont Resort Sunday.

The fifth annual event benefited the Humane Society of Morgan County.

Chris Lina, event coordinator and board member of the Humane Society of Morgan County, said the cook-off raised nearly $1,300 to help take care of homeless and unwanted animals. Coolfont sponsors the event, Lina said.

Washington Post restaurant critic Eve Zibart has been a judge every year in the cook-off. She said her neighbor's cat is from the Humane Society of Morgan County. She commended Coolfont for donating its facilities every year for the cause.

The "Best Chili Cook in West Virginia" winners in the three freestyle chili categories were:

· Julie Propst's Mama's Chili won the Hot 'n' Tasty category. Propst is from Gerrardstown, W.Va.

· Pat Zappala's Zap won the Mild 'n' Delicious category.

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· Melodie O'Hanlon's Melodie and PJ's Vegetarian won the Mouthwatering Meatless category.

Zappala and O'Hanlon are from Berkeley Springs.

The Chili Appreciation Society International (CASI) has participated in each of the cook-offs to help the Morgan County of Humane Society, Lina said. The 16 participants cook their chili on-site and it also is judged, she said. By participating in chili cook-offs, the members receive points toward the chili championship cook-offs.

The international chili cook-off is in Terlingua, Texas, and the world chili cook-off is in California, said Beverly King, a CASI member. One member won the chili cook-off Saturday in Washington, D.C., King said.

Dan Bauer was the CASI first-place winner and his wife, Janie Bauer, took second place. The Bauers are from Alexandria, Va. Jim Parker took third place in the CASI competition.

"It's hard to judge because they were all good," said Patrick McBee of Berkeley Springs, one of the judges.

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