Things are heating up in Shady Cove, not for usual reasons, but because…

Small towns are rumor mills and Shady Cove is a prime example. The latest is that one organization boasted at their last meeting they would have members vote twice to ensure a win in the annual Upper Rogue Community Center Chili Cook-off. The cook-off is Saturday, February 26 at 5:30 p.m. All four participants have denied the charge but have also indicated they will stop at nothing to win. And who knows, the rumor of voting twice just might be true.

Former city councilor Lois Holland chuckled when asked about her chili recipe. After serving 16 years on council, she knows when to keep information off the record and behind closed doors. All she would reveal was one ingredient—beans. Not much of a hint. On hearing about her competitors, she laughed derisively and said, “Oh well, I can compete with any of them. I’ve been cooking for a long time.” She did say she will bring her famous pickles to be included in the dessert auction and her proceeds, as usual, will be donated to the music program at Prospect School District.

The Greater Shady Cove Boosters, whose minutes from meetings are sometimes kept secret, have enlisted a new chef to bring home the “crown.” Patricia VanEvera volunteered because, “When I went last year and tasted the chili samples, I thought, oh my gosh, I could do this.” She is normally a modest person but when it came to discussing her chili recipe, VanEvera’s persona altered drastically and she showed a bold confidence that Boosters will wipe out the competition.

Chase Bank Manager, Cindy McDonald, whose crew has won the cook-off in the past, gave a long sigh when asked what makes her think the bank’s chili will win. As a businesswoman, she is careful not to offend customers who might think their chili is better. She cautiously bragged, “We’re going to surprise and delight with this one.” She hinted they may add a little Cajun to their recipe this year. The question is: Will it be “ragin’ Cajun” enough to take home the prize?

Last year’s winner, Fire District 4, is up to the challenge and ready to take it on. Sharon Littlefield said the chili she and Lynn Horn will concoct is the hottest chili in town and they will have fire trucks standing by with hoses. A good use for tax dollars. She and Horn have developed a new formula for what they know will be the winning chili. Can they retain the crown? That is the $64,000 question.

The public is invited to decide whose chili is the best. As well as tasting chili and voting, a dessert auction is a highlight of the evening. Donations of desserts are needed for the success of the event and to support local causes. The four participants divide door receipts to cover expenses and proceeds from the dessert auction go to URCC to be used towards youth and other programs.

Tickets available at the door are $5 per person or $11 for three or more. URCC is at 22465 Highway 62 behind city hall. For more information call 878-2702.    
By Margaret Bradburn
Of the Independent

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