Valentine Skate and Chili Cook-Off warms hearts

Volunteers set the mood with great decorations at the annual Valentine Skate in February. Photo by Jim Lamont.

Volunteers set the mood with great decorations at the annual Valentine Skate in February. Photo by Jim Lamont.

By Marnie Drover

Snow-kissed rosy cheeks and roasted-marshmallow smiles were everywhere at the Annual Valentine Skate on Feb. 13. Brantwood Park provided an inviting backdrop with a lush blanket of snow, stunning outdoor rink and billowing trees.

Children slipped into their skates to share giggles by torch light. Brass-band songs soared and lifted spirits. Families and friends shared winter stories and laughter over ginger cookies and hot chocolate. Old Ottawa Easterners from newborn to great grandparents enjoyed a memorable evening.

Four contestants presented their chili sensations in the cook-off. Old Ottawa East residents Chris Knight (GUSTO TV), Melanie Gilbert (CAG Chair) and Marie-Eve Noel (CAG Events Team) were the judges.Their winning choice was the beef chili with two kinds of beans by Chris Butler. The Kids & Community Choice went to Todd Dunnett with a pulled pork and chickpea chili. A prize also went to Venus Nikseresht.

Lauren won the Guess the Number of Candies in the Jar competition.

Thanks go to the amazing volunteers, cooks, chili chefs, bakers, fire minders, and musicians who made it a great evening: Lisa and Todd Dunnett, Marnie Drover, Suzanne Gagnon and Fred Simpson, Marie-Eve Noel, Marina and Jim Lamont, Christine and Nathan Scales with John, Julian and Roselyn, Catherine Hooker, Ramine Shaw, Dave Macki, Ana Genio, Sharon Pickle, Katsue Anchi, Jim Fraser, John Bennett, Kevin Hassel, Malcolm Wade, Carol Workun, Chris Butler and Venus Nikseresht.

Thanks are also in order for Cindy Courtemanche and her dedicated rink volunteers.

GUSTO TV and Singing Pebble Books supplied the prizes.

Organizers thanked the many from the community who made the event such a success. Although it was free, they were grateful for the donations received.

Thanks go to CAG Community Partners for their year round support of all events – City of Ottawa, Sandy Hill Community Health Centre (SHCHC), Watson’s Pharmacy and Wellness Centre, The Green Door, and Diane & Jen Realty.

To see a great selection of photos from the event and winning chili recipes please check out the CAG Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OldOttawaEastCAG

 

 

 

 

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