Chili Cookoff

Devin Rogers, Reporter

Staff tasting chilis and having fun spending time with each other

The 11th annual Chili Cookoff, hosted by the Student Council, took place Tuesday, December 10th. The Cookoff is a competition among staff at Morton West to determine who can cook the best chili. Once the staff member cooks and turns in their chili, it is given a number. Samplers then taste each chili and give their ranking order from favorite to least favorite. The chili with the most votes at the end wins. Samplers donated $5 to have the job of tasting the chilis. The participants could also pay 50 cents per chili sample if they only wanted to try a few. The money raised was donated to the Cicero-Berwyn-Stickney Food Pantry, which totaled to over $200! With the help of the Candy Cane Gram program, also run by the Student Council, the donation was an even $500. This much money will provide the food pantry with food for one complete week.

The Chili Cookoff not only benefited the Cicero-Berwyn-Stickney Food Pantry but helped teach Student Council how to run an event. Brett Rush, Student Council leader, and English teacher, said, “It’s a great opportunity for Student Council to practice its skills in terms of marketing an event, hosting an event, and delegating responsibilities to individual members. It’s also great practice to participate in customer service. Students get a great idea of how to serve, how to be polite, how to clean up, and provide just an overall great event for the staff at the end of the semester.” Student Council members learned valuable life skills oriented around hosting an event for other people. 

In addition to Student Council members learning from this event, the staff involved benefited as well. Rush said, “I think the Chili Cookoff is really great for staff collegiality. It’s a great opportunity at the end of the year when we’re all busy to come together and see each other for an extended period of time, hang out, swap some stories, sorta decompress a little bit during a really busy time of the year.” The Chili Cookoff took place right before finals, which can be a very hectic time for teachers. This event serves not only as a fundraiser but also as an outlet for the mental strain that teachers might have during this particular time in the semester. 

The Chili Cookoff is a multifaceted event that helped raise $500 to feed the less fortunate, taught hands-on lessons to Student Council members, and aided staff in relieving stress during a busier time of the year. The 1st place winner was Kevin McLean Science Department,2nd place was Kathy Abdul English Department, and 3rd place was a tie between Lindsay Blackburn and Chris Hewelt English Department.