Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Granbury Care Center brings heat in chili cookoff


Granbury Care Center spiced up the lives of its residents Friday, Jan. 12, as it was awarded first place during the nursing home’s first-ever chili cookoff event.

The spicy and delicious event was created by Fanci Hawkins, Granbury Care Center’s new activities director, whose goal was to create an event where senior living facilities from the surrounding areas could come together and collaborate.

“This is the first one, that way we get to know each other,” Hawkins told the HCN. “I just want people to get to know each other and love each other. If this resident doesn't work out here, maybe this nursing home might fit them better? You know, it’s more communication.” 

During the inaugural event, Granbury Care Center was joined by Hood County nursing homes AVIVA Granbury and Harbor Lakes Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, plus Fort Worth-based Lake Lodge Nursing & Rehabilitation and Marine Creek Nursing & Rehabilitation. 

As an entry donation, each nursing home was asked to submit a gift basket to be raffled off close to the end of the event. 

Originally, the chili cookoff was created as a “thank you” toward first responders who were invited to serve as the judges for the chili. However, as the event neared its end with no first responders in sight, Hawkins took matters into her own hands, allowing Granbury Care Center residents and the public to serve as the main judges. 

After everyone had gotten the chance to sample chili from all six nursing homes and had cast their votes, the winners were announced: Marine Creek in third, Habor Lakes in second, and Granbury Care Center ranking as the official chili cookoff winner. 

“We just wanted to give back,” Hawkins said — adding she hopes the chili cookoff will become an annual event. “I’d like to do it once a year. I’ve never been activity director before, so this is all new to me, but I thought it would just get the community involved and that it would be fun. Who doesn’t like a competition?” 

Winners Denisse Santamaria, Micah Williams and Andrew Cokenour received a “Chili Cook-Off" apron and a medal to signify their place in the competition. 

“This is our first one, but next year, I want to add, like, big trophies for the winners and then maybe next year, our gift raffles can go to the fire department of the winner’s choice," Hawkins added. “We’re hoping it’ll just get bigger and bigger.”