Hudson -- The weather outside was chilly Jan. 22, but inside Hudson High School the chili was hot for the 33 people who braved the below-freezing temperatures for the Relay For Life of Hudson 2013 kickoff.
The event raised a $165 through donations that allowed guests to taste chili and baked goods and vote for their favorites, according to Skylar Blackwell, public relations for the event. The funds go to the American Cancer Society to fight cancer, she said.
Organizers also provided information about Hudson Relay For Life, scheduled to take place in June, and invited teams and individuals to sign up.
"We had one new team sign up at the event, and several new people come out to join an existing team," Blackwell said.
The Relay For Life of Hudson 2013 will begin at 6 p.m. June 14 at Hudson Memorial Stadium and continue through the night -- because "cancer never sleeps" -- to raise funds for the American Cancer Society to fight cancer. Participants collect pledges and split time walking the track with other members of their teams.
Last year Hudson's Relay For Life raised nearly $114,642, Blackwell said. This year's goal is to raise $125,000 and have 30 or more teams participating.
"Overall I am pleased with the [chili] event," said Jennifer Stright, the 2013 event chair. "Not only were we able to raise awareness in the community for this amazing cause but we also watched a new team form."
The chili cook-off had five entries, ranging from turkey chili to a spicy Mario Balati-inspired chili.
Voters chose Ericka Salvucci and her sweet and spicy chili for first place. She won second place last year.
"She couldn't have been more pleased about her big win this year," Blackwell said.
Shawn Patterson won for most original with his red wine infused chili.
The nine entries in the bake-off included caramel brownies, fudge brownies, frosted sugar cookies and other treats.
The winners included Sheila Slife for Fan Favorite and Best Cookies with a chocolate chunk cookie.
Melanie Leone won for Fan Favorite and Best Brownies with Nutella brownies.
Juli Majernik won Best Pie with her Key lime pie.
Sarah Stohlmann won Best Cupcakes with her red wine cupcakes.
Prizes included a beautiful gift basket donated by O'Goodies Gift Baskets of Hudson, Aladdin's Eatery Gift Cards, a Bath & Body Works gift bag, a gift certificate from Sign-A-Rama in Macedonia, and several Relay-themed items.
Anyone interested in joining a team or forming a new team is invited out to the next Team Captains meeting Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. in the Hudson High School media center. Anyone with questions can email firstname.lastname@example.org .
For more information, visit www.relayforlife.org/hudson .