CHILI COOKOFF TO SUPPORT UNITED WAY OF STEPHENS COUNTY
October 31, 2017.
Budlong wins chili cook-off
An old family recipe that will remain a secret enabled Vera Budlong to take top honors in the eighth annual Duncan Regional Hospital chili cook-off Monday, launching the hospital’s internal fund-raising campaign for the United Way of Stephens County.
“It’s my dad’s recipe,” she said, proudly. “Though I was surprised to win, our family knew it was a good recipe and it’s nice to think others thought it was good, too.”
Her winning chili beat 13 other entries in stiff competition that included two former winners and last year’s second and third place finishers. It was the first time Budlong, who is a Diabetes Educator, had participated.
“It’s a fun event,” she admitted. “It brings our employees together and with all of our brochures, pledge cards and payroll deduction forms together, it gives us all the chance to talk about the United Way, the many programs it supports and how important the agencies are, especially when money issues are forcing budget cuts everywhere.”
Food and Nutrition’s Lee Nail, third a year ago, finished second. Director of Engineering Jack Hyatt, last year’s People’s Choice winner, was third.
Chris Genn, Director of Home Care, Hospice and Advanced Medical Center was the People’s Choice winner this year, happily noting, “I’ve worked on my recipe for the last five or six years.”
Other participants were 2015 winner Kathy Deevers, 2010 winner Doug Volinski, Mitzi Copasas, Jodie Franzen, Stephanie Garrison, Richard Gillespie, Paula Irwin, Jay Johnson, Nancy Lott and Roger Neal.
“There’s a lot of competition among our Team Members,” Angela Christian, Director of Business Development and Cook-off coordinator said. “Everyone wants to have their name on the championship trophy and more importantly to have bragging rights for the next year.”
Previous winners have been Casey Anderson, 2011, 2012 and 2013; Bobby Thompson, 2014; and Jessie Gordon, 2016.
The United Way of Stephens County was started in 1954 as the Community Chest and in its 63rd year has a goal of $325,000.
Duncan Regional is the largest corporate donor with a goal of $54,000.
Team members who turned in their pledge cards at the cook-off were eligible for prizes provided by Murf’s Guns, Distinctive Decor, 3 French Hens and Duncan Family Eye Care.
United Way partners are Christians Concerned, Delta Community Action Foundation, Douglass East Side Seniors Citizens Center, Duncan Community Residence, Duncan Area Literacy Council, Duncan Senior Citizens Center, Gabriel’s House Academy, Heartline 2-1-1, Gillispie Counseling Services, Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma, Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Marlow Samaritans, Women’s Haven and Youth Services for Stephens County.
The United Way telephone number is (580) 255-3648. Contributions can be sent to P.O. Box 1632, Duncan, 73534.