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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Opdahl Grocery, Kjelshus Take Top Prize in Chili Cook-off
By Ginny Heth
There was a ‘hot time in the old town’ on Saturday as Westhope Community Club hosted the First Annual Chili Cook-off!
May 10th was chosen as Community Day for Westhope with city-wide rummage sales happening throughout the day as well as the annual Presbyterian Women’s fund raiser serving sloppy joes, pie and coffee. They also had basket- and purse-mania, a silent auction type activity that is fun for all. Included this year in the day’s activities was the Trini Tree Frogs Youth Group detailing the insides of cars. They had a great turn-out for their fund raiser, even having to turn away a couple of cars that arrived after their time was up. Maybe they will have to plan another day of car cleaning since people were so happy to have someone to take on that task for them!
Meanwhile, all around town people’s homes were beginning to smell a lot like a Mexican restaurant as pots of chili were started in anticipation for the Chili Cook-off. Around 3:00 p.m., the Gateway Community Room began buzzing with activity as the ten contestants brought their chili in for tasting......some contestants even brought their own Mexican ambience including table cloths, decorations (even some hung on the wall!) and music!!
Ten entirely different pots of chili were there for the tasting when it began at 4:30 p.m. coming from Westhope Farmers Union (Kevin Schroeder, cook); Westhope Fire Department (Ryan Ellsworth, cook); Double EE Service (Ben Cartwright, cook); John Gruenberg, M&D Pizza (Heather Lee, cook); Presbyterian Children (Lola & Randy Kimpland); Rachel Gruenberg; Kim & Lance Kjelshus; Opdahl’s Grocery (Barb Opdahl, cook); and Westhope Ambulance (UB & Sylvia Schlieper, cooks). There were white chilis, red chilis, and no bean chilis. Some were quite spicy and some were just flavorful, with out the bite! Many contestants included ‘add-ins’ such as sour cream, onions, chips, crackers and cheese to make their offering more enticing. Community Club provided corn bread to make sure everyone had a way to ‘cut the heat’ between bowls of chili, coffee & water with the water being the most popular thing!
In all, nearly 100 people voted and there was a tie for first place! Opdahl’s Grocery and Kim & Lance Kjelshus are the proud winners, sharing a traveling trophy for the year and prize money. Coming in a close third (only one vote separated the three chilis!) was Westhope Ambulance with UB’s Road Kill Chili, who took home a small cash prize as well.
Plans are already in the works for the 2nd Annual Westhope Community Day Chili Cook-off, so get those recipes tweeked, plan on a few decorations for your table (Opdahl’s & the Kjelshus’ both had very nicely decorated tables -- whether that had anything to do with the winning or not.....) and take a chance at bragging rights for next year!!

MEET YOUR NEIGHBORS - Never Be Afraid to Trust an Unknown Future to a Known God
By Marlena Chaboudy
For this week's Meet Your Neighbor column, I'd like to introduce you to Randy Kimpland, Westhope's own Presbyterian Church pastor.
Merton Randy Kimpland was born on February 23, 1956, in Syracuse, New York at St. Mary's to Merton and Jane Kimpland. He is the second of four children born to the family. He has one older sister, Sue, in Florida, a younger brother Mark, living in lower New York, and a younger sister now living in Connecticut.
While growing up, Randy and his family were member's of Andrews Memorial Church in North Syracuse, where the whole second pew was known as the "Kimpland Pew", and attending church was NOT an OPTION for the children of the family! Randy was active in youth groups, Andy's Camp, Choir, and did scripture reading at a young age.
Some of Randy's fondest childhood memories include baseball and football games held in the back yard of the family home, even though there was no grass in the yard. The family would take many a vacation to Long Lake, a beautiful and breath taking area in the Adirondack Mountains located in the northeastern lobe of upstate New York. The family did a lot of swimming, hiking, camping and even canoeing. They even once did a fifty mile canoe trip down the Raquette River! "That is one of my best memories spent with my father," smiled Randy. Randy was also an Eagle Scout as a boy and learned many a life's lesson... "Including not pitching your tent in a gully!" said Randy with a laugh. Randy's father even received the "Silver Beaver Award" for over 25 years of service in Scouts. The Silver Beaver Award is the council-level distinguished service award of the Boy Scouts of America. Recipients of this award are adult leaders who have made an impact on the lives of youth through service given. The Silver Beaver is an award given to those who implement the Scouting program and perform community service through hard work, self-sacrifice, dedication, and many years of service. It is given to those who do not actively seek it.
As a boy, Randy would cut grass and shovel snow to make money, he usually would be willing to do anything he could to make money and would store it away for "that rainy day". Randy saved up for years until the day he finally earned $2,000.00 to buy his first car... a 1974 Olds Cutlass 442. "Putting all that money down on a car was an eye opening experience!" nodded Randy, "Seeing all that hard earned money GONE in a flash."
In Randy's high school years, he was very active in sports and played baseball all the way up to Senior Babe Ruth Baseball. He varsity lettered in Cross Country and Swimming, and even broke the school record for both the 400 Free Style Relay and 100 yard Butterfly Stroke. But this awesome feat was not just handed to him... Randy would practice before and after school, his father taking him every morning at 5:30am to be sure he was there when the pool opened at 6am. (Before he went to work), and then off to school, not returning home from practice after school until about 6pm!
After graduation, Randy enlisted in the Army at the age of 18, in 1977. Randy had decided that he wasn't ready for college, he was pretty over school right then! At first he was stationed at Fort Dix for training, a former United States Army post located south-southeast of Trenton, New Jersey. He then went on to be stationed at Schofield Barracks, in Hawaii. Randy became a part of the Military Police attached to the 427th MP Co. He spent three years as an MP and was then honorably discharged. It was during this time that he met his blushing bride Lola.
After being discharged from the Army, Randy returned home and went on to college and attended Onondaga Community College where he earned his degree in Criminal Justice. He even made the Dean's List! Law Enforcement was Randy's original aim but the Postal Service called first where he was in the Civil Service for 28 1/2 years before he retired.
Randy and Lola have 5 grown children, Jayson 37, Jessica 36, Justin 33, Christopher 32, and David 30, scattered across the U.S. They also have eight grand-children. As the kids were growing up, Randy enjoyed his time coaching little league baseball and Pop Warner Football and going to the Adirondacks camping with the family.
"Upon retiring... I had "the itch"! Lola and I moved to Seminole Lake, Florida, just south of Clearwater. That only lasted through Hurricane season and that was enough of that! We sold our place and took a month travelling back to New York, the whole time with Hurricane Ophelia chasing us up the east coast! We blew into Baldwinsville, New York, which is on the Erie Canal Lock System, just about 16 miles south of Lake Ontario, where we ended up setting roots for a short time and lived on the Golf Course there," reminisced Randy.
About a year later, Randy got "the itch" again to go somewhere and do something different. Lola suggested the Midwest. So Randy and Lola began their search with Century 21 on-line. They discussed what they wanted in their "new home"... a hospital, close to Canada, to be able to experience all four seasons and mountains..... and there it was.... Bottineau, North Dakota! Randy and Lola did a lot of research on the area before moving, all of which just "touched" on the area. Lola got to talking with the girls at the Phone Company and a few other folks they discussed their new venture with, and everyone was in agreement that North Dakota sounded perfect for them.
Randy and Lola arrived in Bottineau with a U-Haul and a truck and have felt at home ever since! "I would like to point out that the "Turtle Mountains" were not like any mountains we had seen before, and that the four seasons we wanted.... wellllllll, we didn't realize that one season, Winter, was nine months long of the coldest weather on earth!" laughed Randy.
Randy and Lola bought their home in Bottineau, sight only off of the internet! They paid for an Independent Inspection and it was sooooo good that Lola was able to buy the curtains for their windows in their new ...soon to be home, and even the furniture! (Of course that has changed several times in almost eight years!)
"We didn't know a soul. Times of trepidation for myself... for sure! But all fell into place. There is no question that God has led us here! We learned that God wants us to step out of our comfort zone because your comfort zone is nothing more than a rut! The Lord has blessed us with talents and skills that we don't even realize, and it's a shame to not realize them in our lifetime," testified Randy.


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