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      Soup'r Chili Challenge a super success in Escanaba

      It was another successful community event for the United Way of Delta County as they dished out soup and chili at their Soupâ??r Chili Challenge. It took place at the Ruth Butler Building in Escanaba.

      Between 500 and 600 people took part in the delicious event which helps United Way kick off its 2012 fundraising campaign.

      Fourteen member agencies will be applying for United Way grants. Some include Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Salvation Army, and elderly services. Helping them is made possible by United Way events just like the Soupâ??r Chili Challenge.

      â??The community really gets excited about it,â?? explains Julie Mallard, Executive Director for United Way. â??It's our big kickoff letting people know it's United Way time. The need is here. And all the money raised stays to help Delta County people."

      People from Delta County and surrounding areas tasted the chili.

      â??A lot of them have different flavors,â?? says Payton Nault. â??Iâ??ve tasted one that I think is my favorite. So there are a lot of flavors. And they're all very good."

      Who was responsible for these delicious concoctions? The event couldn't be possible without the participation of the 24 volunteer chefs who had to make between eight and ten gallons of chili or soup.

      Rick Micheau won the People's Choice Award for his white chicken chili.

      â??We have entered this competition before,â?? says Micheau. â??But this is our first win and Iâ??m very excited about it."

      Tuesday nightâ??s event was from 5 to 7 p.m., but the campaign runs until December 31.