Warm Chili, Warm Heart for everyone

Warm Chili, Warm Heart for everyone

by Cpl. Chun, Taek-Jun
USAG Daegu Public Affairs

USAG Daegu -- United States Army Garrison Daegu Fire Department hosted a Combined Federal Campaign's Chili Cook-Off Fundraiser on December 1.

"The chili cook-off was a great opportunity to provide awareness to the CFC and collect donations for a good cause," said Michael P. Diehl, fire chief of USAG Daegu Fire and Emergency Services.

This Cook-Off was supporting the CFC and donating all the money to Area IV Family Support and Youth Programs.

"The USAG Daegu Fire Chief Mr. Diehl wanted to do a chili cook-off where all the donations go to CFC," said Karina Lucero, Area IV CFC community area project officer. "Last year in his previous duty station, he hosted a chili cook-off for CFC. So he wanted to do it again here in new community."

So the chili cook-off was hosted by the Fire Department to support the CFC. There was a CFC booth at the cook-off, where attendees could donate or make pledges regardless of the size of donation.

"CFC, or CFC-O, which stands for Combined Federal Campaign-Overseas, is a campaign where Department of Defense employees can donate to their charity of choice", said Lucero. "So they can make a pledge, no matter how big or small it is. They can choose whether they donate to local or international organization. It is what they feel in their heart. There are a lot of different organizations you can choose from helping animals and shelters or finding cure for sickle cell. It is you that choose, not us."

This cook-off was not only about CFC. It was also about sharing the delicious home-made chilies.

"Chili is my favorite because it is very nutritious and people have their own recipes", said Mr. Chong, Yong Sok, judge.

Mr. Chong, MSC-K Commander Col. Christopher Dexter and MSC-K Command Sergeant Major Prentiss Hall were part of the panel judging the chilies.

"Taste is what I am going to mainly see."

There were 12 different kinds of home-made chilies competing, and everyone had a chance to try all of them. People from military personnel to civilian workers gathered to taste the special chilies.

"I didn't know chili could be so diverse", said Ms. Seo, Bo-Myung, intern at Public Affairs Office. "Koreans are not used to eating chilies. It was great to have new experience trying out diverse kind of chilies today."

There were three categories that each chili was judged, overall best, the hottest, and people's choice. The judges chose the overall best and the hottest, and people voted for the people's choice after trying out the chilies. The judges chose Mr. Diehl's chili as overall best and the hottest and Mr. Deboard's chili received the people's choice award. But this did not mean others were not appreciated. The judges even had to vote twice to pick the best and the hottest chili.

"Today's donations go back to Area IV community as Family Support and Youth Programs," said Lucero. "Those get used for maintaining playgrounds or improving the quality of lives of Families of Soldiers or Civilians in Area IV. I've enjoyed the event. I hope that everyone showed up whether they cooked or they voted for their favorite chili. I hope everyone enjoyed the event. I am very thankful also to the Fire Chief through the USAG Daegu Fire Department for helping organizing the event and everything else."

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