Annual chili cook-off proves once again just how giving — and entertaining — Vicksburg can be

Published 9:24 am Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Whether it is participating in a cook-off fundraiser or entering an art competition, being involved is the backbone to a strong community.

On Saturday, Vicksburg’s chilly weather made it a good day to hold the eighth annual Chili for Children Cook-off contest, where 21 teams competed in the fundraiser, which benefits the Warren County Children’s Shelter.

An estimated $12,942 was raised for the shelter.

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Top winners included Austin’s Camp Chili, which took first place.

“We cook wild game every year,” Jo Jo Grammer said of his winning chili recipe that featured deer burger and wild hog sausage.

This was the seventh year for Grammer’s team to compete in the cook-off and the fourth year to place — two first place finishes, one second place and one third place over the years.

Each year, Grammer said he gives the earnings from the victory back to the children’s shelter.

“It’s for the kids. It’s the reason we do it,” he said.

Second and third place winners of the chili cook-off were the River City Misfits and Chick-fil-A team winning second and third, respectively.

Redwood Elementary School student Haley Noble participated in the Southern Cultural Heritage Center’s Lions Peace Poster Contest this past summer, and now the 12-year-old’s painting has been chosen for the club’s international competition.

Noble made her peace poster under the tutelage of art instructor Karen Biedenharn. Five 11- to 13-year-olds spent a couple of hours every morning for a week in July creating their poster. On the final day of the week, two judges named Noble the first prize winner, and she received $75 for her efforts. The poster then moved on to district and then to state, or multi-district contest.

Her poster, titled “It takes love within each of us to celebrate peace around the world,” will now compete with posters from hundreds of students from around the world. The winner will be announced in time to attend Lions Day with the United Nations in New York City on March 4.

More positives in Vicksburg:

• The Vicksburg Post’s advertising and creative service team were named among the state’s best Saturday during the annual Mississippi Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest Advertising Division Awards.

In all, the team received 19 awards honoring advertising campaigns, graphics and special sections in which the team partnered with Vicksburg-area businesses last year.

The newspaper also received second place in the General Excellence category, placing behind The Natchez Democrat in one of the contest’s daily newspaper divisions.