Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Chili for a cause

Wednesday, October 10, 2018
(left to right) Chad Windish and Tom Hammontree of Gas House Gang with their first place aprons.
Photo by Patrick Buck

The Kiwanis Club’s second annual Chili Cook-Off was held Saturday, Oct. 6, and the event was held to benefit the Cape Central Air Force Junior ROTC

The event featured a variety of homemade chili made by 15 teams and sponsors, each using their own recipes.

Kiwanis Club treasurer Michael Anders described the event as a “people’s choice award.”

Participants voted for best chili, best theme and were able to buy raffle tickets from the JROTC program and Cape Electrical Supply.

Though the sun beamed around 86 degrees for most of the day, visitors found ample ways to cool off, with refreshments and ice cream served by River Eagle Distributing.

The Chili Cook-Off is still a new entity to the Kiwanis Club.

“For nearly 40 years we did bingo and we were looking for an opportunity to meet up with the public and generate some funds for a worthy organization,” Anders said.

Cape Central’s AFROTC program boasts 78 members in its first year. Colonel Michael Goodin, who is a 25- year Air Force veteran and a Cape Central and Southeast graduate,runs the JROTC program along with Master Sgt. Frank McMahon III, Goodin and McMahon hope to get up to 100 members by the end of the school year.

The program, which is a part of its members’ standard class schedule, partners with Southeast to give students experience for the growing technical job space and requires students to makes no military obligations.

Goodin said he hopes to “build a lasting partnership,” with the kiwanis and a “community mentorship so that civic leaders can help mentor the kids and give them a progression towards success after high school.”

The color guard of the JROTC program presented the colors at the beginning of the Cook-Off, and some other members of the program assisted the Kiwanis Club in running the event.

One member of the Kiwanis Club, Eric Marquart of Cape Girardeau, said Kiwanis’ goal was “to donate $4,000 to the JROTC club.”

“Last year we were able to donate about $3,000 to the police department’s K-9 division,” Marquart said.

Alliance Bank won the theme competition for their “Beach Bum” theme, and the JROTC program won reserve winner in the Chili Cook-Off along with River Eagle Distributing. Gas House Gang, a group of local friends, won $500 and new aprons for the Chili Cook-Off and donated a portion of their cash winnings to the JROTC program.

“The turnout and effectiveness of all this stuff shows tremendous community support,” Goodin said.

The Alliance Bank team, Beach Bums, served “Beverly Hillbilly Chili,” but what the Chili Cook-Off did not have was a recipe book. While Master Sgt. MacMachon got his recipe online.The Gas House Gang served two recipes, one using brisket and the other using ground meats. Roupp Troop served “Karen Ritch’s Sweet With a Kick of Hot” secret recipe.

While there was lots of chili, there were few secrets revealed.

The chefs were not willing to give up their recipes, but some were willing to share a secret to great chili. Tom Hammontree of Gas House Brothers said his secret is, “Spice. Different spice.”

Cape Central’s AFJROTC were the real winners of the day. Colonel Goodin said he plans to use the proceeds of the Cook-Off to further develop the JROTC program and attract more students, and the Kiwanis club plans to keep practicing charitable giving to the community.