By Cindy Isaacsen
Last year was the first year the Johnson County Court Reporters in Kansas hosted a Super Chili Bowl Cook-off to support a local charity, Feed the Need. It is a football-themed event since it is held the Thursday before Super Bowl. The 2019 cook-off was well-attended and helped to raise about $200.
This year we started planning it again for the Thursday before Super Bowl, hoping that our own Kansas City Chiefs would make it to the big game. The Thursday before the American Football Conference (AFC) Championship game, which would determine the Chief’s attendance in the Super Bowl, I had an idea: Why not ask the Kansas City Chiefs mascot, K.C. Wolf, to attend our function? I emailed the appropriate person, and they said they could. Our fingers were crossed that the Chiefs would win the AFC Championship – they did, and our team was well on its way to the Super Bowl.
In preparation for the chili cook-off, we had a trophy made, certificates for all the participants, and we wrangled some local businesses to give gift certificates for the top winners. We even convinced Park Street Pastry to make eight dozen mini cinnamon rolls to go along with the chili. We had 11 entries for the competition, ranging from reporters, administrative assistants, judges, and other support staff. The early morning hours of the cook-off (like 4 a.m.), I had a brilliant idea – get a picture of K.C. Wolf writing on a steno machine!
In anticipation of the cook-off, we prepared a press release. Metropolitan Community College (MCC) got wind of our chili cook-off and our special guest, K.C. Wolf, and they showed up with their mascot, Wolfie. MCC was in a Twitter war with a community college in San Francisco, Calif., and wanted to take pictures with K.C. Wolf and Wolfie to show off to the San Francisco college. While he was here, Wolfie got a quick steno lesson and was happy to participate in our photo shoot with a machine.
K.C. Wolf arrived at the courthouse and we were quickly able to take pictures of him working on a steno machine before the magic began. He was an amazing contribution to our chili cook-off. The entire courthouse was abuzz and took hundreds of pictures with the Wolf. We even snuck him away and put him in a judge’s robe and let him sit behind the bench (shhh, don’t tell the judge).
The good news is that the chili cook-off raised $573 for the local charity, and the Chiefs won the Super Bowl!
Side note: I asked the staff from MCC, “Do you have a court reporting program?”
“No, I didn’t know that was a thing,” they said.
“Well, it is a thing, so let’s trade business cards.” (We have been in communication with them about starting a court reporting program here locally.)
Cindy L. Isaacsen, RPR, is an official court reporter from Olathe, Kan. She also serves as an NCRA Director. She can be reached at Cindy.Isaacsen@jocogov.org.