A tasty array of chilis and chowders cooked up by amateur and professional chefs, a good crowd and an abundance of raffle items donated by local businesses raised funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Assocation at Trackside Restaurant Jan. 28.

The fundraiser was the seventh annual Rockland Professional Firefighters Local 1584 Chil & Chowder Cook-Off for MDA.

About 20 contestants paid $20 each to enter and compete with their ingredients and skills. Three celebrity judges, chef Lynn Archer, Don Carrigan of WCSH6 and nurse Sandy Lowe of Penobscot Bay Medical Center, selected winners for best chilis and chowders, while everyone else got to pick the "People's Choice."

Nine-year-old Evan Riley and his brother, Liam, of Thomaston were special guests at the event. Evan is the Maine State Ambassador for MDA. He makes public appearances throughout the state for kids and adults with muscular dystrophy, ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), and related life-threatening diseases that weaken muscle strength and mobility.

The 2018 Chili & Chowder Cook-Off winners are:

Best Individual Chowder, John King of Rockland; Best Professional Chowder, Mike Woods, owner, Trackside Restaurant; Best Individual Chili,Tammy Willey of Tenants Harbor; Best Professional Chili, Mid Coast School of Technology's Josh Gamage and Avery Butler; People Choice Award,  Westbrook Fire Department firefighter and paramedic Kevin Montoya, for his chili.

Rockland firefighter Carl Anderson, who organizes the annual event, said $3,200 was raised, about $1,200 more than last year. This year, the event drew more amateur and professional chefs, donations for the raffle from local businesses and people who came to taste and enjoy chilis and chowders and support the cause.

Anderson said 60 sponsors donated to the event. He said the fundraiser would not be possible without Trackside owner Mike Woods and manager Kelly Woods, and sent a special thank-you to Shelby Riley, who reached out to businesses and brought in many donations for the raffle.