ESCANABA – The annual Soup’r Chili Challenge kicked off this year’s United Way of Delta County‘s fall campaign. Twenty-one chefs served 11 chilies and 10 soups tonight at the Upper Peninsula State Fairgrounds.
Executive Director Julie Mallard said the trend has been toward providing more soups during the past few years.
“I think there’s a lot of variety in soups and that’s attractive to people because there are so many different kinds of recipes. They enjoy getting out in front of 500 people with their recipes and seeing what they can win,” she said,
The Soup’er Chili Challenge was held at the Ruth Butler Building at the fairgrounds. This year’s theme was Halloween. Bay Pines won Best Booth Display in the People’s Choice Awards. They created a mad scientist lab and dressed the part as they served.
On the bottom of the bowls, the chilies were numbered and the soups were lettered.
The Firekeepers Restaurant at the Island Resort and Casino to first place in the Judge’s Choice for soup in the restaurant category. The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program placed first for Judge’s Choice with their chili.
Gene’s Towing and Repair placed first for both their soup and chili in the non-restaurant category.
The Delona Restaurant took first place in the People’s Choice Awards for their Italian Wedding Soup. S&R Banquet Service played first for their White Chicken Chili.
No goal has been set for this year’s United Way campaign. Fundraising has fallen short the past few years.
“In my head, $200,000 is the mark I’d like to hit because we’ve fallen just short of that the past couple of years. I would really like to hit or exceed the $200,000 mark,” Mallard said.
This is the first time no fundraising goal has been set. Mallard said it was not a deliberate decision.
“We didn’t have a conversation about it, honestly. We’ve just been talking about strategies. We didn’t really sit down and say we’re going to set a goal or we’re not going to set a goal,” she said.
The Small Business Blitz will begin Sept. 28. You can also give online at www.uwdelta.org.
The United Way campaign runs through the end of the year.