Ryan Rogers Cook-Off a Big Success
Although it's February, the weather has been crazy and temperatures have been above average -- even the flowering plants think spring is here. Luckily, the weather turned "chilly" just in time for Saturday night's Ryan Rogers Chili, Soup and Jambalaya Cook-Off and Supper at the Rector Community Center.
In keeping with recent tradition, the popular fundraiser for the community center is held on the last Saturday in February.
A committee of six judges evaluated 16 entries in the various categories. This year's panel included Don Kirklin, Terry Miller, Dave Hendrix, Ryan Lawrence, David Romine and Cody Knight They were sequestered in the conference room where they tasted, evaluated and assigned each numbered entry between one and 10 points for the categories taste, texture and overall quality.
During the event the Community Center Committee set up the Crockett Multi-Purpose Room with tables and chairs, decorating each with red and white checkered table cloths. Each contestant's site was supplied with an extension cord and a large name plate, chairs for seating, tasting cups and spoons. Before starting, each contestant also drew a number which was
assigned to the entry for the blind taste test.
Tasty desserts covered three tables with some residents bringing in treats as their donation to the cause. Soft drinks, tea, water and coffee along with "fixins'" for the chili were also available.
The McCluskys and their children, the family of Ryan Rogers who unexpectedly passed away in 2015, were present and recognized by those attending. Ryan was a friend to all who knew him and won the first Chili Cook-off. In recognition of the feat, and his community-minded spirit, the committee named the contest in his honor and memory.
"Profits from the Ryan Rogers event is used for special purchases for the center," director Linda Robinson said. "Some of our upcoming improvements include benches and big flower pots for the front, new lighting for the dining room, lobby, conference room, behind the stage and new ceiling tiles in all the rooms."
This year's first place winners' names will be engraved on the name plate of the Ryan Rogers Cook-Off Trophy, which remains on display in the lobby of the Rector Community Center.
"All winners received a certificate worthy of bragging rights and the first place winners also received individual trophies to take home for display," a spokesperson for the committee added.
This year's winners in the chili division included Jessie Petty in first palce, Farren Young in second place and the City of Rector entry by Jerry Mansfield and Brad Green in third.
Kristie Beasley took first place in the soup division, with Marki Young in second and the third place entry came from Legacy Equipment, of Piggott, represented by Randy Mikel.
Abie Rogers was the winner of the jambalaya competition, with Tom Colbert placing second and the entry by Cagle and Cagle Farms, represented by David Cagle, earning third place honors.
Organizers report this year's People's Choice winner was the entry from Farren Young. They also reported Perry Tucker was winner of the door prize, and the second door prize (of a package of Rolaids) went to Jo Ann Kirklin.
The committee offered their thanks to everyone who made the event a success, and congratulations to the winners.