Woodward, Okla. —
MOORELAND - Board members and volunteers for the Beyond the Pages organization are preparing for the group's 2nd annual "Chilly Out, Chili In" chili cook-off this Saturday.
The cook-off is held to raise funds for Mooreland's library as well as reading programs that the library offers.
Board member Jennica Kenny said the library support group is hoping to build off the momentum that starting with their first cook-off in 2012.
"It was very successful last year, we had people from Woodward even from out in Freedom and Waynoka show up. I think we raised nearly $4,000 which was so beneficial to helping to get our library doors open," Kenny said.
To make the event even better in it's second year, she said, "This year we've added a cake contest as well which we're excited about and we'll be handing out prizes for."
As part of the new "Take the Cake" contest, area bakers are invited to whip up their most scrumptious recipes and get creative with their decorations as entries will be judged on both taste and design.
Beyond the Pages will be accepting applications until Friday for chili and cake entrees, so there is still time to enter, Kenny said.
"We want to have as many chili and cake participants as possible," she said.
Those interested in participating in the chili cook off or the cake bake off can pick up a list of rules and an entry application at the Mooreland Library located at 223 Main Street, The Mooreland Leader, or at the Kenny Collision Center, or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The group would also like as many people from the public to come out and taste all the chili and cake entries this Saturday.
Kenny said the event is expected to start around 5:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church Life Center and tickets will be sold until they run out of chili.
"People pay a cover fee at the door then they're free to try as many chilis or cakes as they want as many times as they want," she said.
CELEBRITY JUDGES AND TOUGH COMPETITION
Kenny said this year's chili cook-off will feature "some celebrity judges."
"Mayor Roscoe Hill and his wife Ann will be the judges at the contest. They owned Roscoe's Chicken in Woodward for several years, so they're a bit of food connoisseurs," she said.
Participants this year will have some competition in pleasing the judges' palates as last year's chili cook off winner Todd Finley will be returning again this year, Kenny said.
"Finley won last year with his 'Road Kill Chili,' he'll be entering again this year so we're putting the challenge out there to see if anyone can beat him," she said.
Prizes will be awarded for best chili in 3 categories: business, individual or group, and youth (18 or younger). Prizes for cakes will be awarded in 4 categories: best tasting and best decorated in the adult division, and best tasting and best decorated in the youth division.
"Prizes for the winners of the chili cook off and cake bake off will be gift certificates to several restaurants, a trophy type spoon for chili winners, a trophy type cake server for cake winners, and a few other small prizes as well," Kenny said.
HELPING "A GREAT CAUSE"
While people are out trying different chili's and cakes, Kenny says they can feel good knowing its all going towards helping fund the Mooreland Library.
"It's all going to a great cause. Our library opened Dec. 10 and thanks to donations we've been able to operate from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays," she said.
Kenny said a lot of work has already been done to make the Mooreland library an inviting facility.
"It's a really great place; through a Trans-Canada Grant we were able to include some really neat features like a small tree house for children to read in," she said. "I think the biggest compliment we've gotten was from a small boy from Oklahoma City who came in with his grandmother, looked around, and said 'Grandma this place is better than Barnes & Noble!'"
In addition to paying for the operating costs of the library, funds raised during "Chilly Out, Chili In" will go towards funding scholastic programs at the library.
"Last week we started a reading and tutoring program where middle schoolers, high schoolers, and adults come in and help kids learn or practice their reading. We think it's going to have such a fantastic effect on the school system, I'm really excited about it. I just think the kids will just have so much more confidence in themselves and more competence in reading because of this program," Kenny said.
She said funds will go towards providing materials for the tutoring programs as well as snacks for the children.
"We need funds to keep paying for supplies for tutoring," she said. "We provide snacks for kids during tutoring, and for some of these kids that might be the last meal they get that day until breakfast at school the next day. Right now we've been relying on volunteers to provide snacks, but we also rely on them to run the library as well. We rely on them so much, we just don't want to exhaust them."
EVENT TO ALSO FEATURE AUCTION AND SPECIAL GUEST
In addition to the chili cook off and cake bake off, Saturday's event will also feature a silent auction which will include items donated from several local vendors.
"There will be gift items and food items, it's going to be really great," Kenny said.
There will also be a special guest character present at the event to read to children.
"Woody will be there reading a Toy Story book, so Woody will be reading about Woody, and we'll be handing out Toy Story books to the kids at the fundraiser as well," she said.
For more information about Beyond the Pages, about participating in this weekend's fundraiser, or about the Mooreland Library, people are encouraged to contact Jennica Kenny at (405) 714-3453 or Lori Kenny at 334-0438.