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Inaugural chili cook-off set for Sunday in Youngwood

| Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013, 7:59 p.m.

Bruce Smith of Youngwood has always wanted to own his own restaurant, and the upcoming chili cook-off in Youngwood is the perfect opportunity for others to taste his cooking.

“There's a lot of hidden ingredients because it's made with love,” Smith said. “I put a lot of beans, spices, meats … there's a lot of things in my chili.”

The winner of the inaugural cook-off Sunday in Pavilion 2 at Youngwood Park and Pool will receive a trophy and $100. Second- and third-place winners also will receive a trophy.

Tickets for the pool fundraiser are $15 for adults and include chili tastings, a beverage and dessert. There will also be hot dogs, hamburgers, pulled pork sandwiches and baked beans available. The Western-themed event will feature a DJ playing country music.

As a result of a slow season at the pool this year and needed upgrades for the pool, bathrooms and pavilions, Tina Nobile, a member of the pool board, and others began brainstorming for a community fundraiser.

“This is only the first year,” she said. “Whatever goes wrong or right this year, will just be applied to next year.”

Area businesses have donated gift baskets or gift certificates in support of the event.

Rob Hepler, of Hepler's Hardware near Youngwood, is one of them.

“I have a personal tie. In 1959, I helped to build the pool,” he said. “It has always been a community function here and we always try to support the community.”

Smith is hoping that the community shows up to taste his chili.

He says he's known for his pulled pork and barbecue, and is confident in his chili recipe.

“I'm a major foodie, that's what they call me,” he said.

Michele Stewardson is a contributing writer.