11 reasons OARDC’s Chili Cook-off was a booming success — including for people and pets

The Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center’s 2015 Chili Cook-off, hosted by the OARDC Staff Council, provided some great food and competition, along with a chance for employees to give back to local charities. Eleven OARDC “cooks” competed for top chili honors at the Feb. 17 event in Wooster, which drew a crowd of over 125 faculty, staff and students. With entries like “Chocolate Stick to Your Ribs” chili and “Chili SMACK,” Cook-off attendees found their taste buds challenged to choose a winner. But when the votes were counted, first place went to the “Just Like Mom’s (But Only Better!)” chili made by Paul Starkey of OARDC Facilities Services.

A popular new element to this year’s Cook-off was a “Pets and People” fundraiser. Staff Council encouraged participants to bring blankets and towels to donate to the Wayne County Humane Society or hats, gloves and scarves to give to People to People Ministries. Some even chose to donate cash. OARDC employees appreciated the opportunity to give back to the community. In all, dozens of items were collected for each charity, including $60 in cash that was split between the two. Leftover food was donated to the Salvation Army in Wooster.

Thank you to everyone who participated and helped make the 2015 Chili Cook-off a huge success!—Catherine Herms, Horticulture and Crop Science, District 5 Representative, OARDC Staff Council