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Chili Challenge earns March campaign award

Chili Challenge

The Park Rapids Enterprise-sponsored Chili Challenge is among winners of the 2012 Minnesota FoodShare March Campaign Awards.

This year's Chili Challenge, the third annual, raised more than $8,150, with 21 individuals and groups volunteering time and talent to raise funds for the Hubbard County Food Shelf.

Food shelf director Dave Long nominated the Chili Challenge for the award.

The Chili Challenge has become an official kick-off to the March drive.

Bob Landrigan has donated his signature hand-carved loon the past two years and the Crazy Quilters donate a quilt each year for raffles.

Fran Gack entertains with music.

Returning chili chefs include State Bank, Northwoods Bank, Citizens National and TruStar.

St. Joseph's Auxilary member Melodie Lincowski joined the "circus" this year, raising the most funds and a People's Favorite award for her bodacious brew.

Bob Berdahl's wild game chili also earned a People's Favorite commendation.

Beagle Books and Friends of the Library added chapters to the merriment.

LeRoy and Lynne Denman surfed in from Hawaii.

Blue Star Mothers provided a patriotic perspective.

"The Other Bill Jones" once again contributed his signature mixture to the madcap melee.

LuAnne White and Kathy Belt added some decadence (via chili!) to the menu.

"Code Red" has taken on a new definition, thanks to John Nicklawsky.

Dacle Schmid of the First English Boys Club arrived with wings (chicken, that is).

RiverBend came rollin' in. And Jacci and Mike Hadfield, the Heritage Community, Darrell Morton, Byron Knapp, Tom Guinn, the Park Rapids Lions and Parks Electric joined the culinary camaraderie this year.

All deserve a round of applause for their contributions. (Take a bow!)

The Park Rapids Legion Club was once again the site of the two-hour event, manager Jerry Benham graciously fielding 450 questions per minute from the Enterprise crew.

Thirteen individuals, schools, churches and organizations across the state, including the Paul Bunyan Mall and Broadcasting in Bemidji, have been invited to a celebration luncheon April 23 in Brooklyn Park to receive awards.

The Enterprise is the only newspaper receiving an award.

Statewide, this year's March campaign was the most successful in the organization's 30-year history, according to Sara Nelson-Pallmeyer of Minnesota FoodShare.