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28th annual United Way Chili Cook-Off benefits local organizations

DULUTH, MN– The 28th Annual United Way Chili Cook-Off sizzled through Thursday afternoon at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.

The event helps benefit local organizations partnered with United Way.

Drew Kaspari is a volunteer and longtime client of Valley Youth Centers, one of the many organizations benefiting from the event’s proceeds.

Kaspari said Valley Youth Centers motivated him to work harder.

“I went there because I wanted to do something with my life, because I always went home, played games and did nothing.”

He said the organization has given him great opportunities, thanks to funding from United Way.

“Whenever we get money or funding to the valley youth center it usually goes towards the supplies for the kids,and it goes towards the trips we go to.” Said Kaspari.

Taire Lind Suliin, the Event Manager with Head of the Lakes United Way, said events like the long-running chili cook-off make these donations possible.

“We have nonprofits, we have professional restaurants that team up together, serve up chili, and serve up people in our community to make sure everybody is uplifted.” Said Suliin,

Proceeds from the Chili Cook-Off will help support 60 different United Way programs.

“We’ve been helping people help others for a long, long time,” Suliin said, “It really makes you feel good to know that you can help your neighbors, friends, family, or even help yourself.”

There were 23 teams competing for Chili honors at the event. The winners are:

People’s Choice: DECC Concessions Department

Best Spirit (Best Booth Decorations): Lutheran Social Services/Valentini’s

Professional Division –

1st Place: Essentia Health
2nd Place: Lutheran Social Services/Valentini’s
3rd Place: Duluth Bethel

Amateur Division –

1st Place: Valley Youth Center
2nd Place: My 95.7/Lakeside Dental
3rd Place: KAT 98.9/The Other Place

Hottest-Yet-Edible: Crooked Pint

Vegetarian: DRCC

Most Unique: DECC Concessions Department

Jenna Wells

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