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Women in Aviation International student chapter spices up Dad’s Weekend with annual chili cook-off

Elisabeth Weems | Nov 6, 2017
WIA Chili Cook-off
The chili cook-off winners (from L to R): Laurel Davis, Derek McVicar and Theresa Meyer

Women in Aviation International student chapter spices up Dad’s Weekend with annual chili cook-off

Elisabeth Weems | Nov 6, 2017
The chili cook-off winners (from L to R): Laurel Davis, Derek McVicar and Theresa Meyer
The chili cook-off winners (from L to R): Laurel Davis, Derek McVicar and Theresa Meyer

Across from the Ohio University Airport hangar at the Women in Aviation International (WAI) chili cook-off on Saturday, a line of low-wing single engine aircrafts stood against autumn trees as the smell of onions and peppers hung in the air. 

OHIO community members, aviation students and their dads came nose-to-nose with savory chilis and planes at the annual competition -- proceeds from which will support the students’ trip to the WAI international conference next March in Reno, Nevada.

Rebecca Sedlak,  a senior with a double major in aviation flight and aviation management, and a double minor in communication and business, said reminds students and community about the airport and aviation program.

“The cook-off gets the Russ College out of the college and into the airport, which they often forget about,” Sedlak said. “It’s cool to get people out of their classrooms and into ours.”

Students, faculty and community members entered a crockpot of their spicy, mild or nontraditional chili for a small fee. Pilots have been known to fly in to the OHIO airport runway to taste the contenders’ cuisine.

Department of Aviation Records Management Associate and Chief Flight Dispatcher Theresa Meyer, who took home the award for best spicy chili, is also the chapter’s adviser.

“We were looking for a different kind of fundraiser -- one that we could bring family members into,” Meyer said, adding that the cook-off always falls on Dad’s Weekend. “WAI’s mission is to say, ‘Women belong just as much as anyone else.’ We support women in this field, so being able to get support from the community is exactly what we need.”

Other winners included Laurél Davis for nontraditional chili, and Derek McVicar for both best mild and best overall chili.