COMPETITION IS FIERCE BUT WOR­THY CAUSES ARE THE REAL CHAM­PI­ONS AT AN­NUAL CHILI COOK-OFF

The Day - Sound & Country - - FRONT PAGE -

Get your belly ready for a sam­pling of some of the re­gion’s best chili and beer at the Springfest and Chili Cook-Off 2011, hosted by the New Lon­don Ro­tary Foun­da­tion.

More than a dozen area restau­rants will “battle for the chili crown” in a headto-head competition for the best batch in south­east­ern Connecticut, says Mered­ith Di­ette, com­mit­tee chair. The first place win­ner takes home $500, fol­lowed by $300 for sec­ond place and $200 for third place.

More than two dozen mi­cro­brew com­pa­nies with roughly 100 do­mes­tic and im­ported beers will also be on hand. Live mu­sic will be pro­vided by The Rhythm Method.

New Lon­don Ro­tary Foun­da­tion started the fests in Oc­to­ber 1996 and have done two a year since then, says Di­ette. The cook-offs were added about three years ago.

Ad­vance tick­ets can be pur­chased at Gor­don’s Yel­low Fron­tWine and Liquor; Stash’s Café; Mud­dyWaters Café; Caruso Mu­sic and McCue Mort­gage Com­pany. Also, Max’s Pack­age Store, East Lyme; Sam’s Mart, Wa­ter­ford; Flan­der’s Café, East Lyme; Barry’s Clean­ers, East Lyme/Niantic; and Voodoo Grill in Mys­tic. Tick­ets can also be pur­chased on­line at www.newlon don­ro­tary.org.

Di­ette says all pro­ceeds from the chili tast­ing ben­e­fit the foun­da­tion’s char­ity projects.

Among them is Camp Ro­tary, which of­fers a sum­mer camp ex­pe­ri­ence for in­ner-city chil­dren. Campers learn about them­selves, build con­fi­dence and self-aware­ness, and de­velop lead­er­ship skills through in­ter­ac­tion with their peers and lead­ers from the New Lon­don com­mu­nity.

An­other ben­e­fi­ciary is the New Lon­don Ro­tary Schol­ar­ship Pro­gram, which awards a four-year col­lege schol­ar­ship to an out­stand­ing se­nior from New Lon­don High School who re­quires fi­nan­cial sup­port in or­der to con­tinue his/her ed­u­ca­tion in the sci­ences.

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