A thunderous drum roll of hands pounding tables filled the hall as two local gentlemen remained seated on stage. Then emcee Jim Blubaugh placed a hand on the shoulder of one of the pair, 2013 Lions president Spots Williams, and said: “You’re the runner-up.”
With that, Jed Duvall walked away as the sole recipient of the $5,000 grand prize, concluding the successful Rappahannock Lions ChiliFest and Grand Raffle on Oct. 26 at the Sperryville Volunteer Fire Hall. Jed tells us he plans generous donations to local causes with a portion of his windfall.
Jed wasn’t the event’s only winner. Griffin Tavern repeated as the winner of the commercial division with its Great Brit Chili entry, and DeEtte Axelson won the homemade category with her Mama’s Campfire Chili. A close runner-up was Johnnie Jenkins’ Triple J Bar None.
The Manwaring clan won the drawing for dinner for two at The Inn at Little Washington and Kaye Kohler won the 50/50 drawing. More important, each of the more than 100 guests enjoyed a splendid fall day, 15 tasty chilis, community camaraderie and fine music by the Narrow Path bluegrass band.
The raffle and its sponsors provide the lion’s share (pun intended) of the service club’s funds for community projects, scholarships and nonprofit organizations throughout the year — that and the just-completed fall sale of Lions apple butter, which sold out once again in just two weekends.
Jim Blubaugh got it right: Putting on a fundraising event that seems casually organized actually takes a heck of a lot of work. We’d like to thank the restaurants that entered: Griffin Tavern, Thornton River Grille, the Country Café, the Blue Rock Inn and the Flint Hill Public House. We’d like to thank our committee, especially Carolyn Manwaring and Lions treasurer Frank Raiter, Rick Kohler, Gordon Axelson and Rob Taylor. Brian Taylor earned plaudits for ticket sales, and departing Lion Bob Darby won a standing ovation for buying five tickets on behalf of the Hospice of the Rapidan. Godspeed in Florida, Lion Bob.
We would also like to thank our Lion Roar sponsors: Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate III (Rick and Kaye Kohler), Critical Stages Graphic Design (Bill Pragluski), Farm Credit of the Virginias, the Greve Foundation, The Inn at Little Washington, T.G. Taylor & Son Construction, the Rappahannock Hunt, the Rappahannock News, Shaw’s Services Inc./Burgers ‘N Things, Thornton Hill Hounds and Union First Market Bank (Mike Leake). Our Lion Gold sponsors included Sherri Woodard Realty; CFC Farm & Home Center; Baumgardner, Brown & Cupp, PLC; and Morningside Press, publishers of Larry “Bud” Meyer’s Mother Fracker.
Jim Manwaring and Larry Grove