Red Cross Chili Cook-Off returns to the Pinnacle Bank Expo Center

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (Nebraska) — A tasty community event returns to Fonner Park after a three-year hiatus. The Red Cross Chili Cook-off made its long-awaited return Saturday afternoon to the Pinnacle Bank Expo Center.

There were 14 vendors at the event, along with an auction. Officials said proceeds from the event went to the state and regional divisions of the American Red Cross.

“It’s truly a staple of our community,” said Rachelle Lipker, executive director of the American Red Cross. “Most people know us for our chili cuisine. It’s nice to be present in the community and have community involvement. So we are very excited to be here today.”

The course also included training in hand-only CPR and the use of an AED. Red Cross officials have said you can’t have one skill without the other, and it can mean the difference between life and death.

“They work together,” said Joann Ewoldt, a CPR instructor for the American Red Cross. “CPR is beneficial, but using the AED improves their chances of survival. Every minute you delay defibrillation they lose about ten percent recovery. So they go hand in hand.

Ewoldt said the AED educates people on how to use it and how to continue hand-only CPR while the AED is being applied. Even the American Red Cross has no plans to let chili cooking take another break.

“We want to continue to have this on an annual basis,” Lipker said. “We want chefs to be able to look forward to this event. We want the community to look forward to this event, come and visit us and just talk about the impact the Red Cross and our volunteers have within the community.”

Lipker said the Red Cross wants to be present in every community it serves.

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