Chili Cook-off nets $700, lots of toys for APD Toy Drive

Dec. 6—Members of the Anniston police and fire departments laid down their badges, filled their crock pots and picked up their ladles Saturday to raise funds destined to help make local children's Christmases much merrier.

Main Street Anniston sponsored the first-ever chili cook-off between the two departments to raise funds for the annual APD Toy Drive and the efforts proved to be a huge success.

The event offered various forms of admission with the ability to buy only samples from the 10 crock pots filled with both police and fire culinary artistry, purchase full bowls of a favorite or those attending could drop a new toy into the box at the entrance of Main Street Anniston's Pop-Up Christmas Village on Noble Street where the event was held.

Main Street Anniston director Karla Eden reported $700 in funds were raised for the toy drive, and the admission box was full of toys by the time the crock pots were empty.

The best overall chili award went to the Anniston Police Department with the three individual awards going to two of its members: Darlene Berta for People's Choice and Chris Berta for Most Spicy and Most Unique.

Eden said Main Street Anniston will join the wives from both departments this week to buy gifts and drop them off at the APD to be distributed at a later time.

"Thank you to everyone that helped us keep the spirit of Christmas alive this year," Eden said.