Copperas Cove/Lampasas Relay kicks off 2020 season with chili cook-off

By BRITTANY FHOLER 
Cove Leader-Press 

The Copperas Cove/Lampasas Relay for Life held a chili cook-off fundraiser Sunday afternoon at Grace United Methodist to kick off the 2020 Relay for Life season. 
The cook-off served as fundraiser for different teams and allowed survivors to sign up and register and teams to sign up for the 2020 Relay for Life event in May. Several teams set up tables to sell various items, like cookies or candy or LuLaRoe leggings for fundraisers for their teams. 
Five judges tasted 10 chilis and awarded 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, while attendees voted for the chili deserving of the People’s Choice award. 
Judges included David Morris, of the Copperas Cove Leader-Press; C.J. Sowell and Dawn Hale, cancer survivors; and Mike Miles and Bill Nicolaus, both with Moose Lodge of Copperas Cove. 
The first-place chili was made by Stephen McWhorter and featured chuck roast, ground beef and Italian sausage. The second-place chili Lisa Langdon’s “Caveman Chili”, which featured pork in the recipe. Third place went to a vegetarian chili made by Linda Twilleager. 
Other chilis included Gretchen McWhorter’s sweet chili, made with whiskey, Guinness beer and brown sugar. Gretchen’s chili won the People’s Choice Award. 
Cleo Kent-Vandersalm’s chili featured chili flavors of New Mexico; Natalie Martin and Terrell Headen made traditional chili, Kelly Seals’ turkey chili was made using a Butterball turkey; and another chili by Twilleager featuring refried beans. 
Twilleager represented the Relay team John Wayne’s Posse, while Martin and Headen were on the Cancer Crushers team. Seals and the McWhorters didn’t compete on behalf of Relay teams. 
Gretchen McWhorter explained that she saw a flier about the cook-off and signed her and her husband up, with them each making their own chili. Her sweeter recipe came from the Midwest. 
Stephen McWhorter’s winning chili featured three meats plus poblano peppers, serrano peppers, Anaheim peppers, jalapeno peppers, red bell peppers, garlic and onion. 
McWhorter said he was glad to have won and come out to support Relay for Life. 
Lisa Langdon’s Caveman Chili was made from a recipe she uses frequently. Langdon is on the Event Leadership Team and was talked into entering a chili into the cookoff because they weren’t sure how many people would sign up. She ended up making two batches of her chili, just in case they needed extra to feed the people who attended the cookoff, she said. 
The goal for the Copperas Cove/Lampasas Relay for Life is to raise $40,000, the same amount they ended up raising last year. Langdon’s personal fundraising goal for 2020 is $1,500, which she started towards by selling slices of her made from scratch carrot cake at Sunday’s cook-off. 
Guests could enjoy chili by sampling all 10 chilis for $10, or $1 per sample cup, or buy a bowl of chili and the fixings for $5. For $8, they could get a meal deal, featuring a bowl of chili with the fixings, a piece of cornbread, a drink and a slice of Relay for Life kickoff cake. 
Halfway through the event, the PolyMic Dance Group performed at the cook-off, providing fun entertainment. 
There are 11 teams currently registered for the 2020 Relay for Life, according to Rebecca Payne, who is also on the Event Leadership Team. The 2020 Relay for Life will be held Saturday, April 4, 2020 at Bulldawg Stadium and the theme will be “Carnival to Fund a Cure”. 
“Relay for Life in Copperas Cove is important because we do have a lot of good survivors here, and that’s what we work and that’s what we do it for, is our survivors,” Payne said. “We need to let them feel supported by our community.”
Payne added that a lot of people don’t know of all that the American Cancer Society, the organization which all funds raised through Relay for Life go towards, does for cancer survivors and their families. People can call the American Cancer Society helpline at 1-800-227-2345 24/7 for questions about treatment options, side effects and anything they need help with.
“So, by doing these events, it lets the community know that these services are available and that we’re here for them and what Relay for Life is and the services that the American Cancer Society provides,” Payne said. 
For those new and interested in Relay for Life, they meet at Crestview Christian Church, on F.M. 116, on the first Monday of the month and share information. The Copperas Cove/Lampasas Relay for Life is also on Facebook as Relay for Life of Lampasas/Copperas Cove TX. 
For those who want to register for the Relay for Life, they can visit www.relayforlife.org/copperascovetx. 
 

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Copperas Cove, TX 76522
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