About 15 people showcased their chili for the public as part of the town of Davidson's Community Chili Challenge.
More than 50 hungry souls attended the Feb. 12 at Davidson Town Hall and cast their votes by placing a donation in a cup near the chili of their choosing.
Nearly $450 was raised as part of the town's fourth annual community fundraiser. This was the second year the town used this social event to raise money for the Arts and Science Council.
"This town embraces the arts," said Sara-Lynne Levine, the town's communications director. "In a town that has a thriving liberal arts community, this is our way of giving back to the ASC. They support our artists, our art programs and continue to make our town better. This is our small, fun way to give back."
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Davidson Parks and Recreation director Steve Fraher won the challenge with his "Colorado Red Chili."
Police chief Jeanne Miller placed second and Lillian Smith, administration assistant for the town, placed third. The champ for the last three years, Susan Gray, placed fifth.
Catherine Miller, 25, has been a development associate with the ASC in Charlotte for three years.
Within the Charlotte area, more than 400 events are held annually to raise money for the ASC. She said events like the Chili Challenge are more about getting the word out about what the ASC offers.
"The more people that know about our mission, the more likely they are to support it," she said. "The more engaging the (fundraising) idea, the more likely it will be successful."
There were traditional offerings as well as some nontraditional offerings, including a white chili, a few vegetarian options and even an organic chili.
The organic chili included ingredients, such as venison, that were either grown or shot in Henry Lebedinsky's backyard, he said. The organist and director of music at Davidson's St. Albans Episcopal Church helped organize the Music at St. Albans series, which received funding from the ASC.
Diane Benson, the new executive director for Davidson Community Players entered her vegetarian chili in the challenge.
"The (ASC) is a great supporter of ours, and so is the town," she said. "Hopefully (my chili) tastes good enough that I can at least give something back."
The ASC's fundraising goal for 2010 is $7.3 million. Pledges for ASC will be collected through February. Details: 704-940-9610.