Students enjoy a chili afternoon

Quincy University hosted its 32nd annual John Funke Chili Cook-Off in the Health and Fitness Center February 6 sponsored by the Mark Heinen Athletic Booster Club. One of the most popular traditions in the winter, QU has been able to keep this event running even with the recent complications from COVID-19.

Students, faculty, and locals were all able to come together and enjoy various chilis provided by multiple contestants. Contestants included coaches from the football, baseball, and swimming programs at QU. Students entered for free while outside participants were charged five dollars to sample the competing chilis. 

The 11 contestants set up their stations around the HFC lobby and lettered A through K to show off their recipes as well as the various toppings for tasters to add to their samples. With crackers, goldfish, queso, and even M&M’s as available toppings, there were no restrictions on contestants influencing their own recipes. 

Chili tasters were able to cast their vote in order to crown a “people’s champion” for the cook-off, with many individuals arguing which one was the best chili.

“There were so many good chilis at this year’s contest, and it’s one of my favorite events of the whole year, but right now I’m stuck between giving my vote to A or J. We’ll just have to see which one pays me off for their vote,” Megan Ganninger said.

With the large turnout on Sunday, there were many new and familiar faces students could socialize with and enjoy comfort food which created a relaxing environment for people not used to the atmosphere. 

“With this only being my second week in Quincy, the event is great to meet new people in a casual environment and learn the traditions this school has to offer. Definitely a positive experience for me and looking forward to more events involving free food,” assistant lacrosse coach Tim Madden said. 

The booster club also hosted a raffle style cash-bash where 400 entrants were randomly selected by Athletic Director Josh Rabe to win cash. Every 25th ball that was selected could win anywhere from 100 dollars to 250 dollars with many hoping for a healthy cash prize on a lazy Sunday. 

Many coaches entered the raffle to help their programs… or possibly earn a hefty bonus if they’re lucky. 

“I have about six tickets in this raffle currently. Five of them are for the program to hopefully get us some more funds, but one of them is for myself and I’m praying that one lands on the final cash prize,” head lacrosse coach Eric Ruppel said. 

The final cash prize being discussed was a $5000 dollar reward for the last raffle, ball 400, being selected. Ryan Stotts ended up feeling like he won the lottery when his number was the last standing, rounding out the afternoon with a nice pay day. 

Future plans for the 33rd annual cook-off are being made for the event to take place sometime next February. 

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