Great chili for a great cause


Cullman Regional’s Cullman EMS hosted its third annual Chili Cook-Off on Saturday, Feb. 10. / Nick Griffin

CULLMAN – Cullman Regional’s Cullman EMS hosted its third annual Chili Cook-Off Saturday afternoon, and while the rain may have kept some people at home, the participants in attendance were as excited as ever. Police officers, firefighters, dispatchers, EMS personnel and plenty of individuals from the community came out to support a good cause.

Each year the chili cook-off donates its proceeds to a local organization. This year’s event was put on for local veterans’ nonprofit, Saving Forgotten Warriors. Cullman EMS Director James Curtis said he is excited to be able to help out a great local cause and appreciates how many people worked to put this year’s event together.

“This is our third annual chili cook-off and every year it goes to a different charity of some sort. This year we got together and picked Saving Forgotten Warriors,” Curtis said. “They’re an outstanding group of folks out there helping people so we’re happy to be able to help them out a little bit. Jennifer Young is the one who really organized all this and put it together and she has done a fantastic job putting it all together. Everybody has contributed: law enforcement, firefighters, EMS, everybody coming together. We couldn’t do this without those guys competing and bringing in crowds with family and friends and lots of sponsors and folks that donated door prizes, tickets to Rock the South and different vendors around town have stepped up to help out this charity.”

Curtis agreed that the rain probably played a factor in this year’s crowd size, but he was still happy with the turnout despite the dreary weather.

There were a few prizes up for grabs and those were dealt out toward the end of the event Saturday afternoon. The day’s grand prize was platinum Rock the South tickets. They went home with winner Chad Knop.

As for the cook-off’s People’s Choice winners, finishing in third place was Charlie Givens of Hanceville Fire and Rescue, and second place went to Adam Taylor, who works for Cullman Fire Rescue. The first-place chili for this year’s cook-off was made by Daniel Cummings of the Cullman County Sherriff’s Office.

Logan Fire Department’s Jared Johnson took home two prizes this year, claiming the Director’s Choice chili and Hottest chili awards.

Find out more about Saving Forgotten Warriors at

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