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Spicy Fundraiser

Marietta Family YMCA holds its Third Annual Chili Cook-off

Photos provided Missy Shea and grandson Blake Eller, center, took first place in the third annual Marietta Family YMCA Chili Cook-Off on Sunday, followed by Roger Patterson, left, and his vegetarian chili and Ana Staudt’s jalapeno chili.

Cheryl Means and her mother, Eunice Busch, are regulars at the Marietta Family YMCA.

“We come here and work out twice a week,” said Busch, a few days shy of her 98th birthday.

On Sunday they were back again — to compete, and eat, at the center’s third annual Chili Cook-Off.

“We tried them all. They were all good,” said Means, 74.

She and her mother put their Kickin’ Chili up against five other entries. The winning mix, chosen by attendees, was a traditional chili made by instructor Missy Shea, 54, and her 9-year-old grandson, Blake Eller.

More than 40 people attended the Marietta Family YMCA’s third annual Chili Cook-Off Sunday at its Health and Wellness Complex on Ohio 821.

“He was pretty excited,” Shea said, before admitting, “I actually voted for the vegetarian chili.”

That was Roger Patterson’s entry, and he came in second, followed by Ana Staudt’s jalapeno chili.

After not happening last year because of COVID-19 concerns, the third go-round for the cook-off drew more than 40 people Sunday, said Miranda Ickler, finance manager for the YMCA.

“I think it was a lot of people that missed out,” Means said.

There was a $5 entry fee for the all-you-could-eat chili, but Ickler said fundraising was only part of the reason for the event. It gave staff and members a chance to enjoy one another’s company — Means praised the facility’s family atmosphere — and perhaps entice other community members to check out what the YMCA has to offer.

Marietta Family YMCA Health and Wellness Coordinator Melissa Wigal serves food at the Chili Cook-Out Sunday.

The event took place in the Group Exercise Studio at the Health and Wellness Complex at 635-B State Route 821, Marietta. People could also check out the new Health and Wellness Center that opened Sept. 1. A few new pieces of equipment have been added, and more are on the way, Ickler said.

“We keep growing,” she said, noting the center has more than 200 members. “A big portion of our membership, over 110 of them, are over 65.”

Folks like Busch and Means participate in daytime activities for the fitness and social aspects, while some younger members exercise in the evenings after they get off work, Ickler said.

“We get a lot of our new members just from word of mouth,” she said.

The YMCA’s next community event is a Thanksgiving meal slated for 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, with those attending asked to bring a side dish or desert. People can sign up by calling 740-336-1041 or emailing mickler@mariettaymca.org. Non-members are welcome, Ickler said.

Evan Bevins can be reached at ebevins@newsandsentinel.com.

Marietta Family

YMCA Chili

Cook-Off winners

∫ 1st place — Traditional beef chili, Missy Shea and Blake Eller

∫ 2nd place — Vegetarian chili, Roger Patterson

∫ 3rd place — Jalapeno chili, Ana Staudt

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