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The Western Ridge Restaurant and Resort held its annual chili cook-off Jan. 26 to raise money for the Glacier View Fire Department. There were 17 entries ranging from meek and mild to as hot as the High Park Fire!
The restaurant was packed with participants with almost every table full — and beer flowing — when the competition began at 11 a.m.
Judges this year were Lawrence (Bear) Beals, Ralph Knox, Chris Nostrom and Todd Westfall. The first place winner was our very own fire chief, Greg Niswender, who proved how much he knew about heat as he served up a fiery green chili with chicken and corn. Sadly, my attempts to obtain the winning recipe failed when Greg confessed that he couldn’t remember what he did to create his sizzling masterpiece, so we’ll all have to do without.
Second place went to Denise Burk. Kayla Fran took first prize and Phyllis Fields took second for the Most Unique. Jack Brine won first place and Russ Newman took second for the People’s Choice. Western Ridge raised $375 for the fire department and a good time and full belly was had by all.
An additional fundraiser continues until the second week of March, so time is getting short. Our local quilters have donated three expertly crafted quilts to raffle: One queen size, on display at Western Ridge, and two lap quilts. Tickets may be obtained at the fire department, from any firefighter or logistics person, or by contacting Cindy Engels at 970-484-3395. Tickets are $1 each, 6 for $5, 12 for $10 or 25 for $20.
Considering the drought conditions, the upcoming fire season promises to be another wild ride. Help support your local fire department, staffed mostly by volunteers and in need of new equipment.