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By Andi Bourne

Gleason Named Chili Champ


Andi Bourne, Pathfinder

The winners of the 27th Annual American Legion Post 63 Chili Cook Off in Condon. Pictured (L-R): Second place Patti Maurer, Post 63 Commander Rick Ferguson, first place Mikkie Gleason and third place Andrew Anderson.

SWAN VALLEY – Mikkie Gleason claimed the American Legion Post 63 Chili Champ for 2017 at the 27th annual Chili Cook Off May 6 in Condon. She shared the podium with second place Patti Maurer and Andrew Anderson in third place. There were eight entries this year.

After five years of bringing chili to the cook off, Gleason took home the $50 third place earnings last year for the first time. This year she finally claimed the Chili Champ trophy and the $150 grand prize.

She said her white chili had four different kinds of peppers and six different cheeses. "I just kind of threw stuff in it," she said and laughed.

When asked for his recipe Anderson said there was not one. Chili is one of his favorite things to cook so this creation including smoked pork was one-of-a-kind. He has participated in the competition for several years but this was the first year he won.

Andi Bourne, Pathfinder

The eight entrees this year included a white chili, smoked pork chili, tomato-based chilies and spicy chilies. There was something for every taste, the hard part was deciding which was the best.

Maurer took home $100 for her efforts.

The cook-off is a major fundraiser for the American Legion Post No. 63. Along with judging the chili, attendees were eligible for door prizes, participated in the 50/50 drawing and there was a live auction by Auctioneer Rip Grubaugh.

Post No. 63 Commander Rick Ferguson said "Thank you for supporting us [by bringing chili, donating items for the auction, and attending the event]. It's nice to see people who still have a sense of patriotism these days."

The funds raised are used to send a junior attending Seeley-Swan High School to Boys' State in Helena, maintain the community ball park, to keep plaques of deceased veterans current, to support Salmon Prairie and Swan Valley Elementary school programs and veterans' events held on Veteran's Day, Memorial Day and for the Fourth of July parade.


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