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July 23, 2008 > Hot Stuff

Hot Stuff

The Great Rotary Chili Cook Off and Firefighter Combat Challenge

By Ethan Chou

Once a year, local Rotary Clubs and members of the community set aside suburban life in favor of wild west hats, cowboy boots, and above all...chili. July 27 marks the date of The Great Rotary 17th Annual Chili Cook Off at the Saddle Rack, a spicy event designed to raise money for worthy local charities.

For a donation of $5 (free for children 6 and under), guests can sample a variety of mouthwatering chili by church groups, businesses, and community organizations. Those expecting great entertainment will not be disappointed. Live music will provided all day, featuring bands such as the Saddle Rack's own Appaloosa and singers Nashville Star 4 finalist Monique LeCompt. Local artists and vendors will also be bringing their wares, both for display and sale. Children are welcome and will be entertained at arts and crafts stations, games, and other kid's activities.

Along with the perennially popular hot rod car show, this year, the Firefighter Combat Challenge joins the plethora of exciting activities to be enjoyed by the public. Designed to be a demonstration of real-life firefighting rigors, the contest involves a simulation of several common firefighter situations and tasks. Participants, gathered from all over the county, will climb a five story tower, hoist a coil of hose to the top, use a sledgehammer to pound an anvil weight, blast a target with water, and drag a life-size mannequin to "safety." In addition, contestants will run through this timed course in full gear and oxygen tanks. Winners at this local event will compete nationally, and potentially, internationally.

As always, the highlight of the cook-off will be the People's Choice Chili competition. The public will have the opportunity to sample competition chili with their very own "Chili Kit" and vote for their favorite. In addition to the People's Choice Chili category, visitors can also pick the Best Area 3 Rotary Chili and the Best Firehouse Chili. Over 30 entrants are submitting homemade recipes this year, and public taste testing and judgment will determine whether last year's winners, the Washington Outpatient Surgery Center team, remain chili-making champions or a new group will claim the title.

Created 17 years ago to benefit Tri-City Rotary sponsored clinics, the Great Chili Cook Off hopes this year to raise over $27,000 to assist those uninsured receive prescription medicine, laboratory tests, and professional care. Over the years, proceeds from this event have supported other commendable causes including the Washington on Wheels Mobile Clinic, providing physical examinations, immunizations, and blood pressure screenings to members of the community; the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation, working to prevent burn injuries and treat burn survivors by working with firefighters and emergency personnel; and the Hope Project Mobile Clinic, serving the homeless and needy in the area with free food programs, shelter, and other services.

Enjoy the festive atmosphere, incredible chili and firefighter challenge while supporting much-needed charity efforts in the area at The Great Rotary 17th Annual Chili Cook Off, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 27 at the Saddle Rack, 42011 Boscell Rd. in Fremont.

The Great Rotary 17th Annual Chili Cook Off
Sunday, July 27
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
The Saddle Rack
42011 Boscell Rd., Fremont
(510) 453-3933

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