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A new pastor comes to the Reed neighborhood with a great idea to get to know folks - he holds a chili cookoff!

DAVID F. ASHTON - After tasting all the chili entries at the Fall Festivus chili cookoff in the Reed neighborhood, many (including THE BEE) voted for this bowl of red, prepared by new Reedwood Friends Church Pastor Mark Condo. Reed neighbors were treated to a new autumn event on Thursday, October 10, across from the Reed College campus, at the Reedwood Friends Church. It was called "Fall Festivus".

"This 'Fall Festivus' is a tradition that we brought with us from the Midwest," explained the church's pastor, Mark Condo, who arrived to serve the congregation in July.

"It's a party for all of our neighbors and church members – with a 'chili cookoff' and kids' activities," Condo told THE BEE. "Ten people entered their homemade chili; people sampled and selected which chili they thought was the best, and voteed for their favorites by putting money in the jar by the chili kettles."

In turn, the money raised will go to support the church's charity projects, the pastor said. "More importantly, this is not just a fundraiser; this is a way to let our entire community know that we care for them, and that we – both our church and good Latino Friends who also meet at this location – are here to serve them, be they members or not."

After sampling the chili offerings, this reporter voted Pastor Condo's own sweet-and-spicy "Ohio's Best" turkey to be our choice! We have not been notified of the official majority choice in the contest, however.


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