9th Annual Chili Cook Off

Lions Club event raises more that $1,000

The 9th Annual Chili Cook Off was held Thursday, April 19, 2019, in the Central Commons on the campus of Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount, Minnesota. Sponsored by the DCTC Campus Lions Club, the fundraiser earned $1,004.75, besting the club’s $1,000 goal.

“One half of our proceeds went to The Open Door, a nonprofit working to end local hunger through access to healthy food,” reported Brett Kolles, DCTC English Faculty and Lions Club faculty advisor. “The other half will go to support our Lions Club community projects.”

Brett added that the top-tasting chili recipe by vote count was “Lancer’s Answer” contributed by Kelly Trainor from the Fresh Stop Café on campus. Second place went to “Never Ending Winter White Chili” by Lynn Morris, a Dakota County Area Learning School (DCALS) math teacher.

“Every person that brought in a slow cooker of chili received a raffle ticket to win a signed Danielle Hunter Minnesota Vikings jersey,” Brett said, noting that the winner of the drawing was Mike Opp, DCTC vice president of academic and student affairs.

The Open Door ¹

Our Mission

A fresh approach to ending local hunger through access to healthy food.

The Open Door—with the support of the community—is able to assist thousands of local individuals each month through a variety of programs designed to connect those in need with fresh, nutritious options:

  • Healthy food support at our Pantry, 17 Mobile Pantry® sites, and The Mobile Lunch Box, provided to almost 5,000 individuals each month.
  • Family Advocacy/Community resource referrals link families to critical, stabilizing services at social service agencies.
  • Garden To Table® program: 200 community garden plots, orchards, and perennial gardens, allows families to grow the food their family needs, free of charge.
Learn more…

Student perspective: Kate Zweber

Kate Zweber, DCTC Lions Club director of event planning, is majoring in Technical Management with a Focus on Event Planning. Kate lived in Wisconsin her entire life until she enrolled at DCTC in fall 2017. She is graduating this May with her Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree.

Kate Zweber

Kate Zweber

“Fun fact about me: when I was fourteen, my family moved from the old farmhouse that I grew up in to an old charter school,” said Kate, who is also a DCTC student ambassador. “We have been working on renovating the building and it is now beginning to actually look like a house. Half of the school is used for my dad’s business, Gilbert Creek Woodworks, and the other half is where my family lives.”

Kate was home-schooled all the way through high school along with her five siblings. Her family is very important to her along with her friends and her Catholic faith.

“I love music,” Kate added. “My mom used to tease me that she always knew when I was mad at my brothers or upset about something because I’d be in my room playing my flute like crazy. I also love writing and classic literature, and am  a bit of a snob when it comes to books.”

Kate Zweber Q & A

What do you like best about being a member of the Lion’s Club?
I love the energy of the Lions Club and how enthusiastic everyone is about the things that we do; it has been such an honor to be a part of that! Being in the Lions Club has been an amazing learning opportunity for me and has given me great experiences that will help me in my future career.

What are your duties as Lion’s Club director of event planning?
My duties as the director of event planning are to help ensure that the events that we do as a club go well and to take care of the little details that are easily overlooked.

Why is the Chili Cook Off such a successful event?
Without a doubt, Brett Kolles deserves the credit for such an amazing event! He has so much enthusiasm for the Chili Cook Off and invests so much of time, energy and talent to see that it goes well. His passion is contagious The success of the Cook Off also hinges on the generous individuals who donated chili and our volunteers. It was great to see so many fellow Lions there and they all contributed to the success of the event as well.

What are your career plans after you graduate from DCTC?
After I graduate, I am open to a lot of different career paths. I love my life and want to help other people to enjoy and appreciate theirs as well. My dream job would be to work for a parish or diocese as their event planner. I am a devout Catholic and would like to share my faith with others as part of my career. However, I am open to other opportunities as well, such as an activity director for a nursing home, working for a nonprofit, at a hotel, restaurant or resort.

More about the DCTC Lions Club…

The DCTC Lions Club is a charter member of Lions Clubs International, an organization recognized by employers and community organizations worldwide. Students are able to serve the college and community with exciting and purposeful activities ranging from the Polar Plunge and Habitat for Humanity to an annual Chili Cook Off. Lifelong friendships, professional development and fun are just a few of the benefits of this highly active club. Learn more…

9th Annual Chili Cook Off gallery ²

Learn more about the Lions Club at DCTC by contacting:

Brett Kolles
English Faculty
Lions Club Faculty Advisor
DCTC Lions: “We’ve Got This.”
Lions Club Blog
DCTC Lions Club on Facebook

¹ Courtesy of The Open Door

² Photos by Craig Johnson, DCTC Photography Student