The Fountains at Boca Ciega has maintained one of their most beloved events for the past 11 years, a Chili Cook Off and Kiss the Pig Contest. Thursday afternoon, November 14, The Fountain’s event room was packed to the brim with residents, associates and visitors for light-hearted entertainment from the Hatley Band, Buster T Bones and flavor-packed pots of chili.
Six participants made 10 gallons of chili each. The chili was served and eaten “blind,” only two people knew which chili belonged to its creator. Voters chose their favorite chili by spoon color.
While the votes were tallied, the tension hung in the air as the participants poked and prodded their competition in jest. With 32 votes, this year’s top chili belonged to Destiny Williams, Community Life Supervisor for the Gardens building; this was her first year entering the competition. Catoura East, Associate Executive Director took second with 29 points, Melissa Krysh, Community Life Director placed third with 27 points.
“One of the main reasons I like the Chili Cook off is the sense of tradition in our community. It’s a tradition that residents look forward to,” said East. “Everyone is all excited, they know what it looks like, and it keeps getting bigger and bigger every year. There’s that anticipation and excitement. Like myself, I was already trash talking weeks in advance.”
Fountains Community Life Supervisor Delena Waters and Krysh raised almost $53 for the associate holiday fund, winning the Kiss the Pig contest. Both ladies were able to nuzzle a two-month-old piglet and press lips to snout.
“We would love to see this continue to grow. We would like more community involvement. We want others to know that they’re welcome here, to be part of our community, to come to our events, to support a great cause and have a great time and realize that while we are retirement living, we are ‘un-retirement living.’ We make sure that everyone of any age or demographic has a great time here,” said Krysh.
Over the years, fundraising events at the Fountains have raised over $22, 000 for six different charities.
“We just have a real good time,” said Louise Keith, three-year resident. “What makes it a lot of fun is that everybody participates.”