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Chili & wing cookoff in Irwin raises funds for backpack program

Joe Napsha
| Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, 10:06 p.m.

People who love to eat chili and wings can have their fill of both and help needy children at the same time by participating in the Norwin Rotary Club's eighth annual Chili & Wing Cookoff, held at several locations in downtown Irwin.

Colonial Grille, Cafe Supreme and Cheesecake Caffe along Main Street and the Irwin Masonic Hall and First United Methodist Church on Oak Street are among the sites where chili and wings will be available 5 to 8 p.m. March 1. Chili samples will be sold for 50 cents, and wing samples will cost $1.

All money raised from the chili sale and half of the money raised from the sale of chicken wings will go toward supporting the Norwin Rotary Backpack Project. The project provides 30 Norwin elementary school children with backpacks full of nutritional, child-friendly food that will sustain them for a weekend. The chili and wing cookoff is the primary fundraiser for that event.

Amateur chefs will have tables at First United Methodist Church and the Irwin Masonic Hall. Those who want to participate are asked to make at least five gallons of chili. Those serving wings are asked to make at least 125.

Professionals will serve their food from their location, the church or the Masonic Hall. Wine and beer may be available at some locations, but not at the church, the Rotary Club said.

A panel of independent judges will taste-test the chili and wings based on texture, flavor, aroma and unique character. Prizes will be given for first, second and third place in both the professional and amateur chef categories. A People's Choice award will be given in both categories.

The deadline for registering to sell chili or wings at the event was Friday.

More information is available at the Norwin Rotary Club website,, or contact Bill Caruthers at 724-382-5722 or Cheryl Campbell at 724-858-7609.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-5252 or

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