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Annual fundraiser between police, firefighters has raised almost $8,000 to date

COURTESY PHOTO - Diana Cruz and the Hubbard firefighters won the Judges Choice award for their Screaming Hornet chili entry in their first competition at the annual Woodburn Chili Cookoff.Hubbard Fire District crashed the party at the Woodburn Chili Cookoff fundraiser, fending off eight other competitors to win the Judges' Choice award with their "Screaming Hornet" chili entry. Led by Diana Cruz, this was the first year Hubbard firefighters entered the friendly competition.

Held on Saturday, Jan. 25, the fifth edition of the cookoff was once again sponsored by the French Prairie Kiwanis Club and was hosted by Hoodview Church of God.  Record crowds attended this year's event, helping raise $1,756 for the AWARE Food Bank and Love INC of North Marion County.

For the second consecutive year, the Peoples' Choice award went to Gina Audritsh, representing the Woodburn Kiwanis Club, and her "Tailgate Chili" entry.

In the "First Responder" Challenge, the Salt and Pepper Team from Woodburn Fire District received the most votes from the crowd, beating out four other firefighter teams and one team from the Woodburn Police Department.

The judges included Woodburn Mayor Eric Swenson, Woodburn City Administrator Scott Derickson, Woodburn Fire District Chief Joe Budge, and Woodburn Police Lt. Jason Millican.

The event was underwritten by the generous support of Legacy Financial, Abby's Pizza, Hallmark Properties and Brown Insurance. To date, the cookoff has raised more than $7,800 for local charities.

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