MARQUETTE — Marquette Area Elementary Schools came together Monday night in the name of friendly competition.
Fifth graders from Cherry Creek, Graveraet, Sandy Knoll and Superior Hills Elementary Schools were all competing for the title of best chili tonight at the Third Annual MAPS Camper Chili Cook-Off. And this year’s winner, taking home the Golden Ladle, was Sandy Knoll. While those students get to bask in the glory and have bragging rights for the next year, all students left the event a winner as the cook-off is a fundraiser for their yearly trip to Bay Cliff.
“It’s really nice because it’s so unique to have all four elementary schools working together on one fundraising project that benefits the fifth graders,” said event organizer, Kristen Cambensy. “Bay Cliff is an amazing opportunity for these kids. I went to Bay Cliff when I was in fifth grade at MAPS and it’s just one of those things you always remember.”
Cambensy added that this is the first time away from home for a lot of students and it helps craft new skills through activities they may otherwise never experience. When asked what they were looking forward to most, students gave a variety of answers.
“Probably missing school,” said Andrew Brunswick, a fifth grader at Sandy Knoll. “All of the activities. All of the activities are really cool,” said Wyatt Lakenen, also a fifth grader at Sandy Knoll. “Yeah, that too, that’s a good answer,” Andrew added.
Econo Foods, Simply Superior Catering at Northern Michigan University and Boarder Grill donated chili supplies while other parts of the community donated prizes for the silent auction. The cook-off raises $4,000 for the trip, which costs $25,000 overall once the camp is reserved, food is taken into account and the teachers and councilors are added in.