MASSENA — “Church chili” takes the spotlight from noon to 2 p.m. March 14 at St. Mary’s Social Hall, Sycamore Street, Massena. Tasting and voting begins at 1 p.m., and the winners will be announced at 1:30 p.m.
“It’s kind of like a church thing. Each church has an opportunity to get involved,” organizer Thomas Saxby said.
He said the chili cook-off is an opportunity to enjoy some camaraderie and create a special kind of chili for tasting by the public to determine the People’s Choice Award for best church chili.
“Everybody can taste their favorite chili,” said Mr. Saxby, who is a member of New Testament Church.
He said men are encouraged to participate in creating their versions of chili.
“It’s kind of neat to do something with men to try to get them involved,” he said.
With 32 outlets in the social hall, there’s plenty of room to create the chili. Those who are making the chili can arrive at 10 a.m. to prepare for the early afternoon tasting and voting.
The public can begin arriving at noon.
“They’ll get two tickets at the door that they can use to vote for the People’s Choice, which one they like. There’s no charge, but there is a donation bucket. All proceeds will go to the food pantries,” Mr. Saxby said.
In addition to the chili cook-off, Dave Barnum will be speaking about unity and community at 12:30 p.m.
Mr. Saxby said he got the inspiration for the event from the Rev. Mark Reilly, pastor of St. Peter’s Parish, who spoke at a men’s breakfast last year.
“It just popped into my head,” he said.
Father Reilly said he could use the parish hall for the cook-off, and he has had help in organizing it.
“Julie Lashomb (pastoral associate at St. Peter’s Parish) has been very helpful. She was really an inspiration in helping me,” he said.
Members of the Police Athletic League of Massena will also be on hand to assist.
Information about the event can be found at https://www.facebook.com/events/899607773804223/.