The Marion Bank & Trust team that competed in the inaugural Alabama River Chili Cookoff poses with Selma Mayor George Evans last March after being named the winners of the fan favorite category.  Marion Bank & Trust is one of nearly 30 teams to have signed up to participate in the second annual Alabama River Chili Cookoff, scheduled for Thursday, March 14 on Water Avenue.  Gates open at 5 p.m. and admission is $5 for those 9 and older.
The Marion Bank & Trust team that competed in the inaugural Alabama River Chili Cookoff poses with Selma Mayor George Evans last March after being named the winners of the fan favorite category. Marion Bank & Trust is one of nearly 30 teams to have signed up to participate in the second annual Alabama River Chili Cookoff, scheduled for Thursday, March 14 on Water Avenue. Gates open at 5 p.m. and admission is $5 for those 9 and older.

Chili Cookoff sequel poised for big return

Published 7:54pm Thursday, March 7, 2013

Last year, the inaugural Alabama River Chili Cookoff was dreamed up, organized and held within two months. Now, as the second annual Cookoff rolls around next Thursday, organizers are able to show off what a little bit more planning can accomplish.

The main project of Leadership Selma-Dallas County Class XVIII, the Cookoff is designed to be an annual event that supports one local charity each year. In its first year, the event raised $5,000 for the Salvation Army and this year, the expectation is for much more.

“We have been so honored by the support we have already received from those teams signing up to cook chili and compete and the businesses and corporations who have signed on to be event sponsors,” said Matthew McHugh, this year’s Cookoff chairman. “We knew the second year would be bigger than the first, but I don’t think any of us expected the level of support we have already received, and we haven’t even served the first cup of chili yet.”

This year’s Cookoff is scheduled for Thursday, March 14 in downtown Selma on historic Water Avenue. The gates will open to the public at 5 p.m. and admission is $5 for anyone ages 9 and older.

The proceeds from this year’s event go to support the Dallas County Family Resource Center.

One of the main reasons for the enthusiasm from event organizers is the partnership forged this year with title sponsor Moore-Stewart Ford in Selma.

“A few of us were at last year’s Cookoff and had a great time; loved the way the community came together to support the event,” Moore-Stewart’s Barry Parker said. “When we had the chance to sign on as the title sponsor — giving us a chance to help this event out and show off the great line of vehicles Ford now has — we jumped at it.”

Parker said the dealership — while not planning to have a team competing in the Cookoff — will have cars representing each of Ford’s line of vehicles on display.

“We figured we would stay with what we were good at, and that is selling cars, and leave the cooking to those who are much better at it,” Parker said. “Plus, we have a lot of people who are really good eaters.”

Parker said the dealership will have the cars and trucks on display throughout the event, giving residents the chance to see the vehicles and learn more about the cars from some of the dealership’s staff.

As of Wednesday, the Cookoff has 28 teams ready to compete, each cooking up gallons of chili for the evening’s guests.

In addition to Moore-Stewart Ford, other businesses and groups have also signed on to support the event.

Those sponsoring the event include gold sponsors International Paper; silver sponsors Children’s Dentistry of Central Alabama, Kentucky Fried Chicken, the City of Selma and Mayor George Evans, The Selma Times-Journal and Trustmark; bronze sponsors Dallas County Children’s Policy Council, First Cahawba Bank, Henry Brick, Julie Sams DMD, Marion Bank and Trust, Selma Medical Associates and Tri-County Construction.

The list of those who have entered teams are: AXA Advisors, LLC – John B. Morris, Blue Jean Church, Boyd Financial Group, Computer & Data Network Services, Central Alabama Farmer’s Co-Op, Children’s Dentistry of Central Alabama, Dallas County Children’s Policy Council, First Baptist Church Selma, First Cahawba Bank, First Presbyterian Church, Grace Hall, Henry Brick, International Paper (two teams), Julie Sams DMD, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Marion Bank and Trust, Oxford Manufacturing Company, Pine Belt Wireless, Selma Charity League, Selma City Council, Selma Medical Associates, Side Porch Sandwiches, St. James Hotel, The Selma Times-Journal, Tri-County Construction, Trustmark, Tucker Family Dentistry, Vaughan Regional Medical Center and Wood Orthodontics.

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