CCHO’s Great Grill Off to heat back up June 12

CCHO’s Great Grill Off to heat back up June 12

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Get out your bibs, whet your appetites and prepare yourselves for an early summer feast. One of the area’s best cooking competitions is set to return for its 10th renewal.

The Christian Children’s Home of Ohio, 2685 Armstrong Road, midway between Wooster and Burbank, will host the 10th annual Great Grill Off on Sunday, June 12 from 12:30-3:30 p.m.

The admission-free event is open to the public and will have burgers, dogs and whatever else finds its way to a grill grate, along with other summer fare.

David Walker, donor relations manager for the CCHO, said he expects a huge turnout, perhaps in excess of 1,400, for the event, which would not quite double the number in attendance a year ago.

“It’s our 10th anniversary, so every year it’s gained momentum each time,” Walker said. “More and more people are becoming aware of it. Once they come out here, they see what a beautiful facility we have.”

The Grill Off returned last year after a one-year hiatus due to COVID. The 2021 edition featured a dozen teams, seven of them first-timers, along with more than 850 guests.

Cutler Real Estate took top honors with its Whisk Me Home Burger. The Leaf Restaurant was runner-up with Wooster Christian School placing third.

Cutler will be back this year to defend its title, one of five returning teams. Nine new groups will stretch the 2022 field to 14.

The day featured more than 600 pounds of beef, in excess of 2,600 sliders, 186 hot dogs and 26 gallons of ice cream.

Most important, nearly $30,000 was raised.

“It goes directly to helping our kids here on campus,” Walker said. “We have as many as 46 kids age 6-18 living on campus at any given time. This helps provide them housing, clothes, food, medical care. Everything that goes on in the lives of these children, the money goes to support that. We really like to go the extra mile with our kids.”

With the more than 850 attendees a year ago, coupled with online donations raising as much as they did, the event could produce a much bigger number this year.

“We would hope it would be similar (in proportion to the number of attendees),” Walker said. “The event is all freewill donations. There’s no cost for anything to attend. We just ask people to throw something in the box.”

Along with the grilled goods, guests will be treated to desserts including ice cream, along with chips, macaroni salad and beverages.

In addition to the food, the event will include games and activities for kids. Among them will be bounce houses, pop-a-shot games, a giant slide, an obstacle course and tractor rides. None of that was available in 2021, thanks to the pandemic.

“That will certainly contribute to more people coming,” Walker said.

Walker said he doesn’t anticipate the event getting too much bigger. There wouldn’t be space.

“This year with 14 grill teams, one of our biggest challenges is having room,” he said.

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