UPDATE: Annual chili cook-off raised over $5000 for school supplies

WINONA, Minn. (WKBT) – Chefs are cooking for a cause.

The 26th Annual Chili Cookoff took place at Winona Middle School on Saturday.

The fundraiser raised through sales and donations a total of $5564.60 and the cookoff winners are:

Mild category: 1st place – Signatures
2nd place – Ground Round
3rd place – Bub’s Brewing Co.

Spicy category: 1st place – Steak Shop Catering
2nd place – Bluff Country Co-op
3rd place – Signatures

Public votes were compiled for the Public Tasters’ Choice Award, which was awarded to Bluff Country Co-op for its spicy chili.

Participants sampled 19 varieties of chili donated by: Bluff Country Co-op, Bub’s Brewing Company, Brewski’s Pub and Grill, Chatwell’s at Winona State University, Culver’s of Winona, Green Mill, Ground Round, Kwik Trip Store on Homer Road, Riverway Learning Community, Signatures Restaurant, Steak Shop Catering, Steak Shop Catering at Cotter Schools, Sugar Loaf Senior Living, Winona Area Public Schools, Winona Health Catering, and the Winona VFW Post 1287.

It was sponsored by WNB Financial.

The event raises money for the Ready-Set-School program, which helps families pay for school supplies.

18 local restaurants, schools, and organizations entered their best recipes.

Celebrity judges did blind taste tests, and there’s a people’s choice award.

It’s a special way to warm the community

“The price of school supplies never goes down. It always goes up. And being able to help those people who need that in this time is just a tremendous benefit not only for those people but everyone in the area. All those vouchers that the money goes to actually stays in town. Those are redeemed in town, so all that money stays in the community,” said Ben Knuesel, Marketing Coordinator for WNB Financial.