AJ Gator’s heats up chili for a good cause

Published 8:28 pm Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Nothing warms the belly on a cold day quite like a bowl of hot chili, and nothing improves hot chili quite like enjoying it while supporting a good cause.

One Saturday, area residents will have a chance to do both during the second annual Chili Cook-Off, sponsored by A.J. Gators at Chesapeake Square, beginning at 11 a.m. All proceeds go to the Suffolk Humane Society.

“This is an important event for us, because we need community support,” said Kay Hurley of the Suffolk Humane Society. “The animals can’t raise funds for themselves. They have no voice. They are totally helpless and need people who can help them.”

Last year the event raised $1,142 for program expenses and a building.

“It’s not only a wonderful way to help us financially,” Hurley said. “It’s a great way to stay warm when the weather has been so cold, and you can’t do much in the cold.”

With three-ounce samples at just 50 cents each, it’s an event for the whole family to attend.

“There’s something for everyone here,” said Mike Vedomske, who is heading up the benefit. “There’s no smoking in restaurants anymore, so it should be much more family friendly this year.”

There will also be live music, a disk jockey, prizes and raffles.

“The musicians all donate their time,” Vedomske said. “We have the Sam Floyd Band, Bad Dads and The Gangsters of Love. Other local musicians will sometimes drop in and play too.”

Submitting a chili recipe is as easy as one, two, three.

Contestants must submit an entry form, pay a $15 entry fee and bring one gallon of their best-cooked chili in a crock pot. Judging will begin no later than 12:30 p.m., and winners for each division will receive a hand-carved plaque for first, second or third place.

To download an entry form visit www.gatorssportsbar.com.