Students Help Judge 'Grill-Off' for Philanthropic Club

Published 09.23.2013

Student News
Business, Arts & Sciences
Baking & Culinary

Students from Penn College's School of Business & Hospitality were among the judges for Saturday's Grill-Off at the Young Men's Republican Club, which remains strong and active in the community 140 years after its founding.

The annual event is just one of several hosted by the club to raise money for charitable organizations, outreach programs and college scholarships. So far this year, the YMRC has raised more than $9,000 for scholarships and donated more than $6,000 to local charities.

Among the judges for the Young Men's Republican Club "Grill-Off" were, from left, Colleen S. Masteller, Williamsport; Brianna R. Helmick, Hershey; Cody M. Yonkin, South Williamsport; Carly R. Sherwood, Meshoppen; Rebecca L. Rizzo, Palmyra; and Autumn MacInnis, Trout Run. MacInnis is a baking and pastry arts student; the others are all enrolled in culinary arts and systems or culinary arts technology."As members, we were happy to see students from the Penn College Culinary Arts Technology program return as judges for the competition alongside other community members and club members," said Elizabeth S. Gizenski, the college's clinical director for surgical technology. She and her husband, Charles, were among those in the competition. "We knew that they had a tough job ahead of them!"

There were three categories, of which each team could enter two: chicken, pork and beef. Entries – all of which were required to be prepared on the club's Washington Boulevard grounds – were judged on appearance, taste and tenderness. Some teams were there as early as 3 a.m. to begin smoking and preparing their entries.

There were 11 teams total; five each entered the chicken and pork competitions, six in beef. In addition to category winners, one overall winner was judged Best of the Cook-Off.

"We just wanted to thank those students who took time from their busy Saturday to help out," said Gizenski (who also supplied the photo at right).

"Saturday was full of great food and laughs. It really gives Penn College students a way to connect with the community and  show our dedication to our field of study," said Cody M. Yonkin, of South Williamsport, who was among the student judges. "It's a demanding industry and the ones who take that extra step can really become distinguished from the crowd.

"It also gave some new students in the program a way to connect with upperclassmen that can help them out through the course of their education, as well. Overall, it was a great day; the atmosphere was great, the people were friendly and, of course, the food was delicious."