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Western Nebraska Cattlemen host first chili cook-off fundraiser

After a week of rain and cool temperatures, people turned out for the Western Nebraska Cattlemen’s first chili cook-off on Saturday, May 25, in the 18th Street Plaza in downtown Scottsbluff.

The fundraiser brought in chili cooks from around the Panhandle, serving up a variety of hot, mild and beefy chilis.

“This year we’re trying to raise funds for disaster relief in eastern Nebraska,” said Monty Stoddard, vice president of the Western Nebraska Cattlemen’s Affiliate Chapter of the Nebraska Cattlemen. “The original intent was for a scholarship fund, but this year we are going to send all the proceeds down for flood relief.”

Community tasters were able to visit the booths and sample the chilis to cast votes for the People’s Choice Chili.

“We’re here visiting for a wedding, and we were walking around checking out what the area has to offer, and someone said to check out the chili cookoff,” said Femi Sokoya from Wisconsin. “So we decided to stop by, and it’s supporting a good cause so that it another good reason to stop.”

Sokoya and his friends tried all the chilis and voted for the ones they enjoyed.

The People’s Choice Chili was created by Los Anglers, a mild chili with chunks of beef.

“We did it for a good time, and all pitched in to make some pretty good chili,” said Stephen Gonzales, a member of Los Anglers. “We used sirloin for our chili, followed an old recipe from a friend of ours and just had a good time.”

Results are as follows:

First Place –  Chance and Vern Florke of Florke Cattle Co., awarded a trophy and $300, which they donated back to the Nebraska Cattlemen Disaster Relief Fund.

Second Place – Los Anglers, awarded $200

Third Place – Jerry Arnold of Prairie Fire was awarded $100


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