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May 01, 2017

Chili and Cornbread Cook-Off at Middletown United Methodist Church

Maria and Phil Welch received a framed photo of the church congregation from Laurel Cline, lay leader.

Phil and Maria Welch were honored for their continued community service at the Fifth Annual Chili and Cornbread Cook-Off held on February 25 by the Middletown United Methodist Church, 924 Middletown-Lincroft Road. This recognition followed the tasting and judging of the chili and cornbread, and the contest winners were announced by the church’s pastor, Derrick Doherty.

Phil and Maria were lauded for helping those in need by working with many of the church’s ministries, such as Love in the Name of Christ (Luv INC), Family Promise, Habitat for Humanity, Stop Hunger Now, A Future with Hope, the Superstorm Sandy Rebuild Team, the Disaster Response Team, and the Bayshore Lunch Program. Laurel Cline, lay leader, recalled the couple’s years of dedication to local organizations whose goals are to feed, clothe, and shelter those in need. Phil has also worked within the church as a lay leader and speaker, held Bible studies, served on the church council, and initiated a Healing Ministry. He also made five trips to help in the rebuilding effort after Katrina. Maria has been active in the Women’s Fellowship, the choir, and served as the church’s team leader for the Bayshore Lunch Program, which provides, cooks, and serves lunch for 60-80 people once a month. The couple was presented with a framed picture of the congregation, and many handwritten notes of appreciation.









The contest winners were awarded certificates of recognition for each of the following the categories: Most Flavorful Cornbread – Laurel Cline for her Cornbread Con Queso; People’s Choice Cornbread – Stacey Lebitz for her Cheese-N-Chili; Most Unique Cornbread – Laurel Cline for her Cape Fear; Most Flavorful Chili – Sandy Whitten for her Savory Beef; People’s Choice Chili – Stacey Lebitz for her Beef and Hog Texas Red; Most Unique Chili – Auston Dimitry for his Neen’s; Hottest Chili – Mark Sanpietro for his Amazing Three Bean; Hottest – Derrick Doherty for his Fresh Hot Tabasco.

Pastor Doherty thanked all the participants and everyone who helped, and added, “The church’s Youth Group, with adult supervision, is available to do jobs such as rake, weed, plant, clean out garages, gutters, and property to raise money for their mission trip. Each year, the youth must raise funds to pay for their trip to western New York, where they meet the urgent home repair needs of residents in that area. For further information, or if you have a job for the group, call Frank Bardell at (732) 713-6259.”

The community event ended with ice cream dessert for everyone.