AUGUSTA — The Children’s Center’s 11th annual Chili Chowder Challenge held March 24 at the Augusta Armory raised more than $35,000 to benefit the center.

More than 1,000 participants listened to music provided by Terrie Kee and Friends and sampled chili and chowder prepared by 16 local restaurants, casting votes for their favorites.

The best chili award went to The Liberal Cup for their entry, “Smokin’ Pig Chili.” The Red Barn won the best chowder award for their entry, “Laura’s Famous Seafood Stew.”

The list of winners also included:

* Hottest chili went to Lisa’s Restaurant for “Lisa’s Sweet Revenge.”

* Most original chili went to Wings Hill for “Green Pork Chili.”

* Most original chowder and most creative name went to Maple Hill Farm Inn & Conference Center for “From the Ground Up Chowder.”

* Most creative display went to The Hi-Hat Pancake House.

The center’s executive director, Jonathan Leach, presented Terrie Kee with a Friend of the Center Award in recognition of her support.

David and Kaye Flanagan presented recognitions to event sponsors and presented an award to event chairwoman Judy Griffin, marking her years with the center’s Board of Directors.

Activities also included a silent auction and live auction with auctioneer Gary Crocker, craft tables for children to decorate donuts, make paper creations and edible necklaces, face painting, parachute play time, a story corner and more.

Participating restaurants also included Al’s Pizza, Augusta House of Pancakes, CJ’s Pizza, Cohen on the Meadow Catering, Damon’s, Fat Toad’s Pub, Ground Round Sports Grille, Red Robin, Senator Inn and Texas Roadhouse.

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