A chili day at Homewood

You put together some beef and beans, some sugar and flour, some hungry faculty and staff, and what do you get? Big support for United Way of Central Maryland.

For 15 years, the Chili Cook-off and Dessert Bake-off has been a signature event of the university's annual fundraising campaign, and the 2017 edition—held Friday in Homewood's Glass Pavilion—brought out both longtime attendees and eager newcomers, many decked out in pre-Halloween finery.

Admission was $5 with a costume, $10 without, and included sampling the contest entries and eating a catered lunch of chili, cornbread, dessert, and beverage that was sponsored by the Johns Hopkins Federal Credit Union. Panels of judges tasted and retasted the entries (just to confirm their decisions, of course), and attendees got to cast votes for their favorites as well.

The judges' top-three picks in the chili category were Matthew Bolling's Carnivore Chili, followed by Eileen Miller's Southwestern Turkey Chili and Kelly Byrnes' Vegetarian Chili. Top-three dessert choices were Patricia Walchessen's Oatmeal Cookies, followed by Liz Johns' Maple Pecan Cake and Stephanie Sufczynski's Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Cinnamon.

People's Choice Awards went to Tracy Glink for her Flatlander Chili and D. Lynn O'Neil for her Mama's Fresh Apple Cake with Brown Butter Icing. The Office of the Vice President for Human Resources upgraded the prizes for first place and the People's Choice Award. The chili cook-off winners received an electric pressure cooker, and the dessert bake-off winners received a four-piece toaster oven set.

Glink, a senior academic coordinator in the English Department, also was winner of the individual costume contest. She donned a costume she calls Wacky Wailing Inflatable Arm-Flailing Tube Man—picture a bright green inflatable that draws attention outdoors for a big sale or event—and received a United Way fleece blanket. Winner of the group costume was Old McDonald's Farm, from Homewood Student Accounts. Accompanying Old McDonald were "farm animals" wearing signs saying E-I-E-I-O (from the popular children's song "Old McDonald Had a Farm"). The group, led by farmer Arick Jamison, will receive lunch provided by the United Way.

The $638 raised at the event will be donated to the Johns Hopkins Neighborhood Fund, a United Way pledge designation.

Posted in Happenings