Each Saturday in February in Hamilton, high school clubs have been offering varieties of chili to raise money. The Chili Cook-off at Jerry Wessels Les Schwab Tire Center is a yearly event that results in thousands of dollars in funds for various teams and clubs. Robert Ramsey, Wessels Tire Center manager (on the left in photo below), said the total raised this year was about $9,700 for teams from Stevensville, Victor and Hamilton. The weekly fundraising winners are invited back for a final event, which was February 29. The Hamilton High School Science Olympiad team won that competition, earning a combined $6,000 to help pay for a trip to the National Science Olympiad competition. Wessels donates hundreds of dollars in matching funds each week to the teams.

Ramsey said that any Ravalli County high school club or team is welcome to compete in next year's event. Simply call the tire shop and get the information on 2021 February Chili Cook-off.

HHS Softball chili team at Jerry Wessels Tire Center. (Steve Fullerton, Townsquare Media)