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Once upon a chili

Playing off a Little Red Riding Hood theme, the team from D. Michael B's served up "The Better to Eat You With Chili" at Tuesday's event. (Photo by Al Edenloff)2 / 3
The team from Arabella Manor earned the top prize for Best Display at the chili feed with their tribute to Disney villains. They are (left to right) Kim Englund, Joni Neal and Belinda Wink. (Photo by Al Edenloff)3 / 3

Once upon a time, there was a huge gathering of everyone in the village who ate bowl after bowl of a magical concoction called chili.

One of the chilis, "Satan's Ice Cream," was hotter than a fire-breathing dragon.

Others were not too hot or not too cold. They were just right.

Some chilis, which were not red in color like the others, contained an unusual blend of spices and ingredients not found in this part of the kingdom.

Many of those serving the chili were dressed in flowing garments and had their faces decorated as the fairest in the land. They served their wares from booths that looked like they were straight out of a fairy tale.

Everyone had a wonderful time at this feast fit for kings and the coins given by the villagers helped others throughout the land. They all lived happily ever after.

If you haven't guessed it by now, this story is about United Way of Douglas and Pope County's annual chili feed and silent auction on Tuesday.

This year's event, the 15th annual, carried the theme, "Once Upon a Chili - Grimm Fairy Tales."

Organizers said the event was a huge success, with 36 chili cookers competing for bragging rights to a variety of awards. Here are the winners:

--Best Display: Arabella Manor. Runner-up: Gardonville. Honorable mention: 3M.

--Hottest Chili: Alexandria Fire Department (for its Satan's Ice Cream creation). Runner-up: Massman Design. Honorable mention: Brenton/ProMach.

--Open Division: D Michael B's. Runner-up: Glenwood State Bank. Honorable Mention: Henry's Foods.

--Most Unusual: Legal Services of Northwest Minnesota. Runner-up: Tastefully Simple. Honorable mention: Bremer Bank.

People's Choice: 3M.

A total of 54 volunteers took the challenge to "live united" by volunteering to help make the event a success for the 640 people who attended, according to United Way leaders.

Local businesses contributed more than 120 silent auction items totaling more than $10,000 raised for United Way programs in Douglas County.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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