By Lorraine Payette, written March 27, 2014
(Sweet’s Corners, Ontario) Everyone learned that a cold spring evening can be hot, hot, hot if you attend the Annual Chili Night held at Sweet’s Corners Elementary School. For a mere $5 per person or $10 per family, the community was treated to an evening of great food, good company and old fashioned fun.
“This is a social event which is a fundraiser for Sweet’s Corners Elementary School,” said Jen Tidman, social representative on the Parent Council. “We had about 200 people show up for the event. It’s our largest fundraiser of the year, and in this case we’re raising money for all the school trips. We try to keep costs as low as possible for all the families when we get to go places like Foley Mountain, and this fundraiser helps a lot.”
Different families and organizations provided the school with about twenty different chilis ranging from traditional meat chilli through vegetarian to exotics. To keep it interesting, four judges were selected to determine which would be the winners in a friendly Chili Competition.
Categories were Hot to Trot (Spicy), Moove Over (Meat Lover’s), Shake it Up (Alternative or Exotic), and Most Likely to Cause Gas (Veggie Lover’s or Everything But the Kitchen Sink). Judges scored chilli from 1-5 based on aroma, appearance, consistency and taste. Two judges were adults, and two were students from the school. After considerable care and weighing of all the factors, the winners were:
Karen Lowery for Spicy
Kim Goodman for Meat Lover’s
Mrs. Gatenby for Alternative
Kathy Thompson for Veggie Lovers.
The overall winner of the Golden Spoon was the team of Tammy and Mike Sharp.
Also included in the evening were a cake walk, 50/50 draw and raffle tickets for various “backpacks”.
“The cake walk is a lot like musical chairs, so the kids absolutely love it,” said Tidman. “It’s only a dollar a ticket, so it allows them to play more than once. We also have mystery backpacks this year. We have 15 black backpacks, in which case you don’t know what’s actually in it. The supplies in each backpack have been donated by local businesses, and can range from gift certificates for haircuts and other services to various items, anything up to about $100. You don’t know what you might be getting, so you can pay $5 and win something valued at as much as $100.”
Although the financial value of the evening has not yet been calculated, last year the school was able to raise about $1,200 from the event.
“Each year we hold the Chili Night, which raises funds for the Parent Council,” said Trisha Johnston, principal at the school. “It’s an opportunity for all of our community to come together and celebrate with food and lots of fun. We have our cake walk, lots of raffles going on, a 50/50. It’s great to see the parents and students all mingled together with all the other community members. This year we’re raising money for a shade structure project as well as our field trips.”
When asked, several of the attendees said he evening was fantastic and they wouldn’t miss it for anything. Students and families alike were pleased with the variety of activities, as well as the chance to indulge in good food and great company. With that kind of recommendation, you can bet this is one tradition that will carry on well into the future.