Top chili chefs serve it up spicy in Sperryville

A record number of tasty chili entries made the competition all the more interesting Saturday at the annual Rappahannock County Lions Club ChiliFest. Participants had a dozen and a half chili pots to choose from, served up by volunteer members of the high school-aged Leo Club at the Sperryville Volunteer Fire Hall.

By popular vote, Griffin Tavern became a seven-time winner among local restaurants and inns – that’s right, SEVEN! Tops among the home chefs was Anne Robertson from Long Mountain Road with her Headliner concoction.

Raffle ticket-holders Jeff Christie and Emo Merritt split the $5,000 prize in the Drawdown. Bruce Jones won the drawing for dinner for two at The Inn at Little Washington; Ann Wohlers won a drawing for fine Virginia beef from Belle Ridge Farm.

Rappahannock Lions Club ChiliFest “Home Chefs” top winner Anne Robertson served up a mean chili concoction Saturday at the Sperryville Volunteer Fire Hall, which had everybody raving. Seated behind Anne is renowned Rappahannock vintner Bill Gadino of Gadino Cellars in Washington. Photo by Kaye Kohler

The event could never happen without the hard work of Jim and Carolyn Manwaring, Scott Wells, Garry Giebel and Ann Grenade, Joel and Merle Daczewitz, Fred and Ann Marie Stacey, Jim Blubaugh, Larry and Kathy Grove, Frank Raiter, Rick and Kaye Kohler, Brian and Alex Taylor, Bill Pragluski and many other members of the club. The Lions also want to thank Carolyn Manwaring for spearheading the decoration crew.

The Lions thank sponsors: T.G. Taylor & Son Construction, Better Homes & Garden Real Estate III, Greve Foundation (John Kiser), Inn at Little Washington, Critical Stages Design, Rappahannock Hunt, Rappahannock News, Thornton Hill Hounds, B&B Signal, Union Bank and Trust, Pen Druid Brewing, Cheri Woodard Realty, Harris Hollow Foods, CFC Farm & Home Center, Belle Ridge Farm, B&B Auto, Shaw’s Service, Riverside Auto and Racer Construction.

Thanks also to local restaurants for their contributions: Griffin Tavern, Tula’s, and Thornton River Grille. Thanks, too, to musicians Brian and Alex Taylor and Bright Path Bluegrass.

The fundraiser helps cover the Lions Club’s commitment to scholarships, service projects and nonprofit needs throughout the year.

— Larry ‘Bud’ Meyer

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