Ilion, NY- Mohawk Valley Rotary held its first annual Mohawk Valley Rotary Club Chili Challenge Cook- Off event on Sunday, a daylong event that benefits the club to help with their community service projects. This event was held at Francesca’s Banquets in Ilion, drawing an estimated 200 people. Competing teams included PK’s Pub, Heidelberg Bakery, Moose River Coffee, Franco’s of Ilion, Dan’s Fan’s, Dominick’s Deli, O’Baby’s, The Java Shop by Cucina Berto, TravelLodge Little Falls, Asteroga Ale House, America Dining Creations from Herkimer College, Fat Cat’s, and The Brass Tack.

“We were honored to participate and to taste the delicious recipes prepared by so many of the area’s finest restaurants,” said club president Cindy Bennett. “With so many different chili options participants were sure to get a taste of something they would enjoy”.

More than tasting chili, the family-friendly event included a beer tasting put on by Saranac Brewery, a 50/50 raffle and music by DJ Kenny the Promo Guy, all hosted by WKTV’s Steve McMurray.

Franco’s of Ilion took home the crown for hottest chili; TravelLodge Little Falls was awarded for Best Presentation, People’s Choice went to Dan’s Fans, and Most Unique was awarded to American Dining Creations at Herkimer College for their delicious duck chili served with a crispy duck pot sticker.

The Mohawk Valley Rotary Club serves the villages of Mohawk, Ilion, Herkimer and Frankfort with the goal of giving back to the community with members’ time and effort as well as money earned through fundraising. The club is involved with many programs including the local Adopt-a-Highway program, supports Catholic Charities and Salvation Army food pantries and participates in Books for the World, the international Youth Exchange program and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library literacy program to name a few. For more information on the Mohawk Valley Rotary Club, contact their Facebook pagewww.facebook.com/MohawkValleyRotaryDistrict7150/.

Photo Left-Right: Rotarians Cindy Bennett, Francesca Magro, Bonny Brownrigg, Youth Exchange Student Mariana, Elyse Enea Bellows, Rocco Lamanna, Joanna Marshall, & Michele Hummel.

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