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Helping Friends and cooking for a cause





A graduate from Fort Hays State University used her culinary expertise to beat 11 teams from FHSU and the community at Saturday's Unleash Your Favorite Chili Recipe event at the National Guard Armory.

Hannah Adams, the assistant general manager at Hampton Inn Hays, studied in FHSU's Tourism and Hospitality Management major program, said Stacey Smith, THM's director.

The Management 623 class hosted the evening's contest, and it concluded a trio of events planned by the course's three teams, Smith said.

Smith said the class challenges students to plan events as part of an initiative to incorporate service-learning projects in the curriculum.

The students choose Friends of the Hays Dog Park as their beneficiary, she said. The first team hosted a dog wash on campus, and the second team invited dogs to a FHSU soccer game to raise awareness about the upcoming dog park, she said.

The endeavor was not a competition to raise the most money, but each team will present the Friends of the Hays Dog Park a check Dec. 4, she said.

Smith said she was grateful for the community's support because her program continues to grow.

"It's great being able to provide the students real world applications in the industry that they're going into," she said.

Callie Wright, an FHSU senior from Topeka and softball student-athlete, said she and three of her teammates cooked their Grand Slam chili to help the dog park after their coach's dog died.

"I think that's been a huge eye-opener," Wright said. "Like I said, my coach has always been a dog owner and loved her dogs, but to see how many people really love the fact we're having a dog park open up has been something that's blown my mind."

Clint Palmer, an FHSU senior from Wichita and a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, said he and three fraternity brothers cooked a batch of TKE Chili to support the THM program. Palmer said he might use the dog park in the future.

"It's a good cause, and I'm hoping as soon as I get out of my apartment there on campus I can get a pet of some kind, maybe a dog," Palmer said.

The fraternity placed third in the contest, and Tony Miller, a community member, placed second with his Mom's Chili. Their prizes included kitchen products and candy.

Rhonda Baker, Splash Designz, Chartwells, Hampton Inn, Kim Perez, Stephanie Westeman, Walmart, Wendy's, 1 to 2 Store and McDonald's were sponsors the event.