Submitted by Nikki Van Velson —
COARSEGOLD — Soroptimist International of The Sierras held their inaugural Gold Country Chili Cook-Off fundraiser on Saturday, Nov. 4 at the Coarsegold Community Center and it turned out to be a resounding success, say members of the nonprofit organization.
Six chili experts participated in the cook-off, with those attending the event voting for their favorite dish.
Contestants included Back 2 Basics Clothing Store, Oakhurst Healthcare & Wellness, and Len Nielson with his famous Lumberjack Chili. Participating restaurants included Yosemite Gateway Inn Restaurant, Crab Cakes, and The Wild Fig.
Wooden cutting boards with spoon plaques were awarded to Len Nielson’s Lumberjack Chili, voted the most unique. Yosemite Gateway Inn Restaurant had the hottest chili and best overall.
The Long Shot Band played favorite songs for entertainment, and a raffle with over 60 items was held with gifts donated by local restaurants and businesses. Some of the goodies included a carved bear, wine baskets, yoga classes, gym memberships, rounds of golf, a dental plan, Discover Yosemite excursion, and home décor baskets, among others. A separate raffle was awarded to one winner with more than $300 in gift cards from mountain area merchants.
The Gold Country Chili Cook-Off is one of two annual fundraisers held by Soroptimist International of The Sierras to enable the organization to donate to high school scholarships, and the Dream Programs. These include the Live Your Dreams education grants for women to return to college and the Dream It Be It annual girls’ conference as well as other requests and programs in the local area.
You may want to mark your calendar now for the next fundraiser, set for Mar. 15, 2018: it’s the famous Spring Soup & Salad Luncheon that has been held for many years. The 3rd annual Dream It Be It conference dates are to be announced — stay tuned for more information.
Soroptimist International of the Sierras meetings are 1st and 3rd Thursdays each month at Crab Cakes Restaurant in Oakhurst.
Contact Club President Joelle Leder-Rule for more information at SISierras@Soroptimist.net
Nikki Van Velson is the Soroptimist Publicity Chair