Chili heats up Grand Lake summer |

Chili heats up Grand Lake summer

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News

Chili, with its cumin and cayenne, isn’t just a winter food anymore.

Last weekend in Grand Lake’s town park, The Grand Lake Fire Protection District held its Annual State Chili Cook-off it co-sponsors with the Colorado Chili-Pod.

Great chili chefs from the region-wide and beyond reigned over large pots of steamy bean-meat concoctions throughout the day, their booths and garb spiced up as much as the dishes themselves.

The chili cook-off is the primary funding mechanism for Grand Lake Fire’s Scholarship and Community Assistance Fund, created in 2005 “as a way to give back to the community that has been so supportive of us,” said Mindy Everhart of Grand Lake Fire.

“The focus of the fund is to help the youth of our community to participate in school-related functions where they might not otherwise have the opportunity, if our assistance were not available,” she said.

To date, district-awarded scholarships have helped to fund a Washington D.C. trip for an eighth grader, a junior class raft trip, a Girl Scout trip to Georgia and a ski camp in Austria for a freshman ski racer.

“Currently, we have three students that are getting ready to leave for Europe next week and one student in Bolivia on a medial mission trip with Feed the Children,” Everhart said.

When they return, scholarship recipients are asked to attend a department meeting and make a presentation to district membership to share what they learned.

At last weekend’s successful chili fest, Hunker Down played music, the Sagebrush Bar and Grill donated all of the food besides the chili, the Grand Lake Brewery provided the beer.

“A large silent auction was successful due to many generous individuals and businesses countywide, and all the hard-working volunteers at the event,” Everhart said.

” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail

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