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      Chili cook-off helps kids

      Whether you like it hot and spicy, mild or traditional; there was a chili for every taste at Saturday's cook-off fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club of Columbia.

      More than 2,000 people showed up to support the Boys and Girls Club and taste chili prepared by 53 different teams. All the proceeds go to help the organization keep their after school programs running for at risk kids. Money raised also goes to off set staff salaries and operating costs.

      Directors say they have 120 kids currently enrolled in their after school programs.

      "We're trying to teach them character and leadership, Valorie Livingston with the Boys and Girls Club of Columbia said, and how to be a caring, productive citizen of our community."

      Livingston hopes to raise $50,000 from the culinary competition. She says the goal is to someday move into a bigger building and everyone who came out was happy to help with that goal.

      "It's important because they need something to do after school, attendee Brad Butler said. I think it's a great program and gives 'em somebody to look up to."

      At the end of the night one team will be voted the crowd favorite.

      Besides the chili cook-off, the Boys and Girls Club holds another fundraiser for their organization in August. Proceeds from both events keep the club running year round.