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The Annual Chili Cook off sponsored by the Sturgis Alliance of Churches was held on Monday, Oct. 30 at the Sturgis Community Center.

Deb Looby, President of the Alliance, said this was likely one of the largest crowds they have seen for years. Sixteen Churches and organizations cooked up soup, chili, deserts and grilled cheese sandwiches and accepted a free willing offering for the meal.

Winning the Judges' Choice in the Business Division was Scott Peterson Motors (Joel Kisor and Melissa Clem) served up the tasty chili. The Sturgis Community Center placed second and First Interstate Bank came in third.

The Judges' Choice for the church division was won by Open Bible, Opal Community Church taking second and Believers Fellowship third place.

The churches raising the most funds was the First Presbyterian Church which raised over $2,250 with second place going to LifeSpring Wesleyan Church with over $1,650. Overall the evening was a huge success with over $5,500 being raised.

Looby said the funds raised with assist many families with food, gas, shelter, lodging and prescriptions.

"We purchase all items local so the money does stay here in our community," she said.

If someone is in need of help, there is an application process and commonly the churches refer the individuals to the High Rise to complete the paperwork.

The judges for the Chili Cook off included Deb Holland, Terry Hermann, Doreen Creed, Geody VanDerwater, Ron Waterland and Rose Mary Roth.

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