Local Boys and Girls Club hosts 13th annual chili cook off
COLUMBIA - The Boys & Girls Club of Columbia kicks off its 13th annual MFA Oil Rootin' Tootin' Chili Cook-off Saturday afternoon.
The money raised will help the Boys and Girls Club's after school and summer program.
"This, in essence, raises over $100,000 for our local Boys & Girls Club to help us serve 800 youth this year," said Boys & Girls Club executive director Valorie Livingston.
There are more than 40 teams competing for several different awards. They will begin cooking at 8 a.m. Prizes will include Best Chili, People's Choice Best Chili and Best Decorations. Judges for the best chili are chefs from the Columbia area.
"It's a really fun interactive way to spend a couple hours on you Saturday," Livingston said. "But for a really great cause."
Volunteer groups assisted with hours of prep work on Friday evening in order to set up stands. Themes ranged from the 1920s to early western and "Jumanji."
One volunteer said he always looks forward to chipping in for the Boys & Girls Club.
"It's really fun volunteering at events with the Boys & Girls Club," volunteer Luke Bumgarner said. "People are super nice and everyone was very thankful for everything that we did for them."
The cook-off begins at 2 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Executive Center. Tickets are $18 per person and free for children 10 and under. Organizers expect more than 1,000 visitors.