Chili cook-off benefits students at Newton-Ransom Elementary School

By Ben Freda - For Abington Journal
Contestants get ready to serve the chili they brought to the cook-off. - Ben Freda | For Abington Journal
Chili cook-off contestants Jennifer Sutton, left, of Ransom Twp., with her beef and bean chili and Stacie Kane, of Dickson City, with her chicken corn chili. - Ben Freda | For Abington Journal
Deserae Gondella Malone, one of the event’s chairpersons, numbers cups of chili with a marker. - Ben Freda | For Abington Journal
Chili cook-off contestants, from left, are Andrea Rogers, of Newton Twp., with her white bean chicken chili, her husband Pat Rogers with his smokehouse chili, and Chris DeCicco, of Ransom Twp., with his beef and bean chili. - - Ben Freda | For Abington Journal
Husbands and wives at the chili cook-off are, from left, first row, Jen Kochner, Newton Twp; Amy Poremba, Clarks Summit; and Debbie Musgrave, one of the event’s chairpersons, of Newton Twp. Second row, John Kochner, Mike Poremba and Dave Musgrave. - - Ben Freda | For Abington Journal
Cook-off chairpersons are, from left, Debbie Musgrave, Marissa Zang and Deserae Gondella Malone. - - Ben Freda | For Abington Journal

CLARKS SUMMIT — The night was cold but it was warm inside the Clarks Summit Fire Hall on March 3 during the second annual Newton-Ransom Elementary PTO Chili Cook-Off.

John Kochner’s chili earned the Newton Twp. resident two plaques — one for being voted the best and another for being voted the hottest. Kochner was one of the contestants in the fundraiser chaired by Deserae Gondella Malone, Debbie Musgrave, and PTO member/event coordinator Marissa Zang.

Proceeds for the cook-off are going to field trips, school supplies, school assemblies, and playground equipment for Newton-Ransom Elementary School.

“We have a better turnout this year,” Zang said.

“We added more contestants this year,” Gondella added, remembering that last year there were seven entries while this year, there were nine.

The nine contestants cooked homemade chili and took it to the fire hall for people to taste and vote for in three categories: best, hottest and most unique. Ransom Twp. resident Chris DeCicco, whose daughter Kelsie is a student at Newton-Ransom Elementary, made old-fashioned chili with beef and beans. Wearing a Trovato’s Meat Market shirt, he represented the business where he purchased the beef to make his chili. He likes this kind of fundraiser for his daughter’s school.

“I think it’s a good thing they (PTO) do,” DeCicco said.

Jennifer Sutton, also from Ransom Twp., also made chili with beef and beans. Her daughter Amelia attends the elementary school

Other contestants tried different kinds of chili. Stacie Kane, who has friends in the school’s PTO, brought her chicken corn chili, voted best chili during last year’s cook-off. Andrea Rogers, a building aide at the school, competed against her husband Pat’s smokehouse chili with her white-bean chicken chili. Andrea’s chili was voted “most unique.”

“I was very excited,” she said. “It’s a family favorite of ours.”

Raffle baskets also raised funds for Newton-Ransom Elementary. Newton Twp. resident Sam Caprari provided musical entertainment by DJ-ing the event.

“It’s a great community,” Caprari said about living in Newton Twp. “I’m lucky to live in this area.”

The evening concluded with dance music and bright strobe lights, which Caprari provided.

Contestants get ready to serve the chili they brought to the cook-off.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_Chili1.jpgContestants get ready to serve the chili they brought to the cook-off. Ben Freda | For Abington Journal

Chili cook-off contestants Jennifer Sutton, left, of Ransom Twp., with her beef and bean chili and Stacie Kane, of Dickson City, with her chicken corn chili.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_Chili2.jpgChili cook-off contestants Jennifer Sutton, left, of Ransom Twp., with her beef and bean chili and Stacie Kane, of Dickson City, with her chicken corn chili. Ben Freda | For Abington Journal

Deserae Gondella Malone, one of the event’s chairpersons, numbers cups of chili with a marker.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_Chili3.jpgDeserae Gondella Malone, one of the event’s chairpersons, numbers cups of chili with a marker. Ben Freda | For Abington Journal

Chili cook-off contestants, from left, are Andrea Rogers, of Newton Twp., with her white bean chicken chili, her husband Pat Rogers with his smokehouse chili, and Chris DeCicco, of Ransom Twp., with his beef and bean chili.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_Chili4.jpgChili cook-off contestants, from left, are Andrea Rogers, of Newton Twp., with her white bean chicken chili, her husband Pat Rogers with his smokehouse chili, and Chris DeCicco, of Ransom Twp., with his beef and bean chili. Ben Freda | For Abington Journal

Husbands and wives at the chili cook-off are, from left, first row, Jen Kochner, Newton Twp; Amy Poremba, Clarks Summit; and Debbie Musgrave, one of the event’s chairpersons, of Newton Twp. Second row, John Kochner, Mike Poremba and Dave Musgrave.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_Chili5.jpgHusbands and wives at the chili cook-off are, from left, first row, Jen Kochner, Newton Twp; Amy Poremba, Clarks Summit; and Debbie Musgrave, one of the event’s chairpersons, of Newton Twp. Second row, John Kochner, Mike Poremba and Dave Musgrave. Ben Freda | For Abington Journal

Cook-off chairpersons are, from left, Debbie Musgrave, Marissa Zang and Deserae Gondella Malone.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_Chili6.jpgCook-off chairpersons are, from left, Debbie Musgrave, Marissa Zang and Deserae Gondella Malone. Ben Freda | For Abington Journal

By Ben Freda

For Abington Journal

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-587-1148 or by email at news@theabingtonjournal.com.

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-587-1148 or by email at news@theabingtonjournal.com.