Chili cookoff raises $1,600 for The People Center

Great weather contributed to a great turnout and the ability to raise $1,600 in the fifth annual Smith's Bayou Chili Cookoff on Saturday, according to organizers. A check was presented Tuesday by the event's co-chairpersons, Rebecca Hopp and JoAnn Grotemat, to officials at The People Center in Spring Lake. People Center Director Karen Reenders said the timing couldn't be any better - "especially when you're getting to the end of the year and the money is running out from the Christmas giving,' she said.
Becky Vargo
Sep 1, 2011


Reenders said the center is serving 10-12 families a day on the three days a week they are open.

“The donation means we can continue to supply families coming in here who are in need,” she said. “The need is endless and I don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Reenders said the center is in need of more food donations, as well as personal hygiene items like toothpaste and toothbrushes — items that cannot be purchased with state assistance funds. The center is also looking for donations of children’s clothing suitable for fall.


The center is located at 307 E. Exchange St. Donations may be dropped off there on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. There is also a drop box on the back porch. Donations may also be made online at

Chili cookoff winners

Seventeen cooks participated in the cookoff held on Cecelia Lane in Ferrysburg on Saturday, Hopp said. Between 300 and 400 people attended the event.

Ivan Perez and Marcus Joseph captured the People’s Choice award with their “Texas Tingle Chili.”

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.


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