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June 5, 2012 > Dishing up the heat

Dishing up the heat

By Julie Grabowski
Photos By Syed A. Bilgrami

The heat is returning to Fremont, but we're not talking weather. Local cooks are gathering once more to see who dishes up the best chili brew at the 21st Annual Great Rotary Fremont Chili Cookoff. A big success since its first serving in March of 1992, the cookoff is a fun and festive fundraiser that brings together neighbors and communities to benefit local charities.

Chili is the obvious prime order of the day with over two dozen specialty dishes on offer. Attendees can sample Niles Songbird Chili, Sgt. Slappy the Squirrel's Machine Gun Chili, Line of Fire Chili from six-time champs Holy Habaneros, Backdraft Chili by the Santa Clara Fire Department Volunteer Reserve Division, as well as entries from Super Suppers Fremont, Bad Boys of BBQ, Washington Hospital Healthcare System, and Oakland Firefighters Random Acts. An event ticket provides six tasting tickets and one voting ticket to proclaim your pick for best of the bunch. Popular vote will determine the top three winners.

But chili is not the only choice for hungry visitors. A variety of other food and snacks will also be on the grounds along with cold drinks, beer, and wine.

Classic rock band Full Throttle will be providing some of the day's entertainment along with Jewels Hanson and Diablo Road, and StarStruck Theatre will give attendees a sneak peak at their upcoming show, "Legally Blonde, The Musical," beginning July 27. Firefighters will be on hand to educate attendees through life saving demonstrations and fire safety presentations, as well as competing against other local fire stations in various tests of skill.

Last year's event exceeded the goal of $25,000 by far, bringing in a fantastic $34,000 for six local service groups. Recipients included the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation; HOPE Project Mobile Clinic through Abode Services; Tri-City Rotary Clinic, which provides medical care to Abode clients; Washington Hospital Healthcare System's Washington on Wheels; the Martin C. Kauffman 100 Club, which provides financial support to families of fallen police and firefighters in Alameda County; and Tri-City Volunteers, whose mission is to help those in need. These services create a strong support system within the community as people work to care for each other and provide a positive and hope-filled environment for all to succeed and flourish.

Join the Area 3 Rotary Clubs of Fremont for a great afternoon of food, entertainment, and raffle prizes and help make a lasting difference in our local community. Who knew a cup of chili could do so much?

Tickets are $8 per person with advance registration (advance registration ends June 8 at 5 p.m.) and $10 at the gate. Ages six and under are free. For more details visit

Great Rotary Fremont Chili Cookoff
Sunday, June 10
11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
The Saddle Rack
42011 Boscell Road, Fremont
Tickets: $8 in advance, $10 at the gate

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