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Granby is seeking chili cooks to sign up for competition

Date: 2/22/2012

Feb. 22, 2012

By Lori Szepelak

GRANBY — Town residents who are interested in supporting Dufresne Park are welcome to participate in a Chili Cook Off this June, however, the deadline to register is fast approaching.

Granby SOARS Inc., an all-volunteer committee of town residents, is spearheading the family fund-raiser on June 3 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Kendall Street entrance of Dufresne Park, according to Diane Piquette, director.

"The Chili Cook Off will be a great way to spend quality time with family and friends," Piquette said during an interview with Reminder Publications. The deadline for participants to register is March 15.

Piquette noted that the event will be a minimum cost to a family for food and refreshments.

"Residents should attend to support their park," she said, adding "memories for the future" is another reason to stop by and support the contestants.

Two fire department units and one civilian member are signed up at press time so Piquette hopes that town residents, businesses or organizations, might be inclined to join the ranks of the competition.

"We need participants to make it a true competition," she said.

The cost to contestants is a $25 entrance fee. Contestants can send in their name, address, e-mail address and the name of their chili with a check made payable to Granby SOARS, 17 High St., Granby, MA 01033.

Copies of the cook off form can be obtained by emailing Piquette at

Piquette noted that the goal of Granby SOARS is to host family oriented events for all ages at a "very affordable cost."

"Basically a family that plays together stays together," she added.

In addition to the cook off, Piquette expects a variety of activities for children including face painting to round out the day's festivities.

Visitors that day will not have to pay to park but if they wish to sample each chili and vote, a small donation will be requested. Trophies will be given by Granby SOARS and a special People's Choice Award is also planned.

"By voting for the best chili, funds will be raised to make improvements at the park, which is open to the public at no cost year round," said Piquette.

Piquette said a core group of individuals are working behind the scenes to ensure the fundraiser is a success, including Don Elliott, Irene Bergeron, Christine Barkyoumb, Alexandra Bates, Steven Whelihan, Joshua Clark and Shawna Berthiume. She added that non-committee members are also playing a "huge part" in the event, including Anthony Bishop and the Pathfinder Culinary Department, Jeremy Archambault who will judge the competition, Paul Piquette who will emcee the event, and Carla Archambault for volunteering her time as a food safety inspector.

Piquette also noted that many town departments have "graciously offered to open, close and clean the park for us. SOARS could not have put any of this together without their support and guidance."

Individuals are also welcome to volunteer their time that day to help the Granby SOARS members and should call 467-7606 for more information.

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