A chili October day

Annual Chili Cook-off and Dessert Bake-off raises $706 for the university's United Way campaign

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

For 16 years, the Chili Cook-off and Dessert Bake-off has been a signature event of the university's annual fundraising campaign, and the 2018 edition—held Oct. 26 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 Randy Widomski's Tuscan Grilled Chicken and White Bean Chili, Stephanie Muller's Veggie Chili, and Tracy Glink's Flatlander (last year Glink won the People's Choice Award). Top-three dessert choices were Valentina Herrera's Chocolate Hazelnut Cake followed by Widomski's Pumpkin Whoopee Pies and Chanita Dounginn's Call Me Apple Something.

People's Choice Awards went to Widomski's Tuscan Grilled Chicken and White Bean Chili and Stephanie Sufczynski's Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies. The Office of the Vice President for Human Resources provided 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.

The $706 raised at the event will be donated to the Johns Hopkins Neighborhood Fund, a United Way pledge designation.

Employees who would like to take part in the Johns Hopkins United Way campaign but have not yet made a pledge can do so here.

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