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Chili that’s good for your belly and your soul

Darren and Dianne Stevens at the first annual chili cook-off.
Darren and Dianne Stevens at the first annual chili cook-off.

People from all over the county will be competing for the title of best chili cook in town. 

The competition will be fierce between emergency services, businesses and individuals.

Hundreds are expected to come to the Shelburne Community Centre on May 13 from 12-3 p.m. to see and taste for themselves who will receive the coveted chili pot trophy. They’ll also get to happily spend $5 on chili, water and roll.

But it’s not just about the chili.

The annual cook-off has been raising money each year for various local not-for-profit groups.

This year the proceeds that come from the team’s $20 entry fee and the $5 chili purchases from the public will go towards a new organization that is just getting off the ground. MAYBE Today is an organization that is being launched by two cousins from opposite ends of the coast.

In Shelburne County, Diane Stevens wants to make sure MAYBE Today abolishes bullying so that no young person will have to feel alone.

She has been working in the schools, helping out when the work to rule first began and she said bullying is alive and evident in Shelburne County.

“It is huge,” she said.  “Nobody is talking…I want to be their voice.”

She said it is hard for the person being bullied to approach a teacher or principal to talk about it.

“The bullying can be extremely subtle,” she said.

Sometimes, she says, it’s taunting about what someone has but the other doesn’t, with a snarky aside about how their family can’t afford it.

“It’s typical kid behavior,” said Stevens.  “But it’s not acceptable anymore.”

She said the bullying that happens today could easily turn into tomorrow’s mental health issues.

She also is aware of the rising prevalence of suicide by youth.

“I’m passionate about this because I don’t want anyone in this situation get to the point where they don’t want to be alive anymore,” she said.

The organization’s first donated funds is to come from the chili cook-off.


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