Bismarck, ND (KXNET) — Plenty of hungry people showed up for dinner on Saturday evening to chow down on chili.
Two organizations were hosting cookoff fundraisers, with money benefiting some good causes.

The stages were set as dozens of people were eager to ladle out some goodness around Bismarck over the weekend.

And like every good story, this one starts with a little meat on the pellet grill. A dry pork rub was the basis for my entry into two friendly competitions.
With some roasted peppers and several pounds of chopped veggies, I was eager to join the fun.

“Every year, there’s always somebody new, and that means a couple new people, and they have fun,” Brothers Keepers Motorcycle Club member Cisco Maples said. “And then they’ll share it with a couple of their friends, so every year, we try to get a few more.”

The Brothers Keepers Motorcycle Club hosted their chili cookoff at the Elks in Bismarck.

I also plugged in a crock pot at the Eagles Club, where the Knights of Columbus was inviting cooks to a friendly fundraiser.

“We had a fantastic turnout tonight. Probably one of the best turnouts we’ve ever had,” Knights of Columbus member Art Archuleta said.

Sadly, after the votes were cast at the Eagles, I did not finish in the money.

But, two ladies did finish in the money. Archuleta says he’s thankful for so many friendly faces to benefit Home on the Range and North Dakota Special Olympics.

“To be able to add this to the other fundraisers, we’ll be doing this spring, so that we can give them a nice check and help them out with whatever they can,” Archuleta said.

With the chairs stacked and the winnings passed out, I headed back to the Elks where my batch wasn’t any luckier.

“It turned out way better than we thought. We got more entries and a bigger crowd than last year,” Maples said.

A big crowd means a more sizeable donation that Brothers Keepers can make to the Dakota Zoo.

Archuleta says the Knights of Columbus will soon prepare for their spring fundraiser, where they’ll be selling burritos.