QU Chili Cook-Off draws in hundreds of tasters

A photo from the Peters' family chili team from the 2012 cook-off rested next to their booth this year. The family won first place in this year's theme, third in the chili contest.

Crock-pots full of chili lined the halls of Quincy University's Health and Fitness Center Sunday afternoon.

The 24th annual Mart Heinen Athletic Booster Club Chili Cook-Off kicked off at 11 a.m. Close to 500 people made their way around each of the ten booths, tasting the different chilis and soups on hand.

The event lasted until 3 p.m. when the winners for People's Choice were announced. The cooks could win based on the taste of their chili as well as the decorations around their booth. Brad Grant and Keith Dieker won first place for the People's Choice Award for best chili. The Peters' family won first place in the theme contest and received third place in the chili contest.

"People have come in just to have chili and then go home. Some people stay for the whole event. We put the NFL playoff games on so people can sit around and watch and have a refreshment or two and enjoy each other's company. It's a just a nice way to have a fundraiser and have people come in and support the program," Marty Bell, QU's athletic director said.

Another crowd pleaser took over the QU Hall of Fame room, the Cash Bash, which offered hundreds and thousands of dollars worth in prizes, including sports memorabilia and cameras.

Bell says he expected to raise close to $10,000 dollars from Sunday's fundraiser.