Eastpointe residents Cindy Jakubiszen and Monique Williams-Lias made chili for the Eastpointe Cops Cares chili cook-off fundraiser.

Eastpointe residents Cindy Jakubiszen and Monique Williams-Lias made chili for the Eastpointe Cops Cares chili cook-off fundraiser.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Eastpointe Cops Care chili cook-off heats up

By: Maria Allard | Roseville-Eastpointe Eastsider | Published December 7, 2022


EASTPOINTE — The oven mitts were off Nov. 17 to determine who makes the best chili in the city.

During the dinner hour, 19 local residents participated in the first-ever Eastpointe Cops Care chili cook-off at Eastpointe City Hall. Guests paid $5 a person to sample the different chilis. Cooks paid $10 each to enter the contest, and the chili showdown was on.

Not only did the cook-off warm up attendees on a cold evening, it also raised money for the Eastpointe Cops Care nonprofit organization. Eastpointe Detective Lt. Robert Koenigsmann has always wanted to do something to give back to the community. Last year, he and other officers held a Cops for Kids event in which they donated money to purchase Christmas gifts for underprivileged children in the city.

“The idea was to give them what they wanted,” Koenigsmann said. “People got together, wrapped up the gifts and delivered them in police cars. Police officers and civilians went to their houses, which made it a little more personal.”

Nearly 75 toys were delivered to 34 households. Some of the popular toys were Nerf guns, Lalaloopsy dolls, Roblox and Barbie dolls. The event was a big success and Eastpointe Cops Care grew from that.

“We’re all volunteers. Every penny we collect goes into the program,” said Koenigsmann, who is the Eastpointe Cops Care president.

Eastpointe Cops Care hosts several charitable events throughout the year and ends the year with the Cops for Kids event. Eastpointe Cops Care is governed by a board, and the members are employees at the Eastpointe Police Department.

“Drumroll, please,” Eastpointe Court Administrator Michael McLoyd said when it was time to name the chili winners.

Koenigsmann won the “spiciest” chili award, and Eastpointe Detective Melanie Beam — who is the Eastpointe Cops Care vice president — won the “best” chili award.

“I think it’s an amazing turnout,” City Manager Mariah Walton said while at the event. “We have incredible officers that put together a nonprofit organization to give back to the community. We’re so thankful.”

Eastpointe resident Cindy Jakubiszen was among those who made a pot of chili for the event. She even shared her recipe.

“It’s got every type of bean imaginable to man, chicken, pork tenderloin and hot Italian sausage. My husband said the house has smelled great for two days now,” said Jakubiszen, who enjoyed the cook-off. “It’s nice when the community comes together.”

“It wasn’t even like it was a contest. I think it was friendly. It was really nice,” said Eastpointe resident and chili maker Monique Williams-Lias, who said a friend of hers encouraged her to participate. “It was a nice, cold day for chili.”

Eastpointe Cops Care board members include K-9 officer Robert McNeil, treasurer; records officer Josh Powell, secretary; and officer Brian Thome, board chief operations officer.

For more information on Eastpointe Cops Care, visit its Facebook page. For information on its Cops for Kids, email Beam at mbeam@eastpointecity.org.