Chili Cookoff Benefit Returns Sunday

OCEAN CITY – It may be cool outside this weekend, but the Ocean City Parrothead Club (OCPHC) is bringing the heat for its 19th annual “Hots for Tots” Chili Cookoff Dec. 4.

The competition will feature chili from approximately 12 restaurants this year, and money raised from the event will go to help families in need, according to event Chair India Bandorick.

The OCPHC has currently adopted six families from Worcester County G.O.L.D., a non-profit organization that provides assistance to county residents.

Members of the club met at Guidos Burritos last month to pick tags from the club’s Christmas tree, according to Treasurer Marie Gilmore. Each tag contained the need or want from each child.

Club members are currently in the process of buying for these families, according to Gilmore, but money raised from the cookoff will go to purchase items left on the tree and food cards for the family’s holiday meals.

The price of admission is $10 or an unwrapped toy. Monetary contributions will go to the families, composed of seven adults and 13 children.

“They are the larger families people can’t afford to buy for,” Bandorick said.

The club usually sponsors seven to nine families each year, but Gilmore said OCPHC’s reduced membership meant having to reduce the amount of families they could support.

“Six is what we can do this year,” she said. “But the need is so great in Worcester County.”

Toys donated at the door will go to Toys for Tots, the event’s original benefactor in years past.

Bandorick said recently toys have gone to Santa House in an effort to support local families. But after suspending its program for the 2016 holiday season, she said the OCPHC has decided to revisit Toys for Tots.

The winning restaurant will receive a trophy and bragging rights for the rest of the year, Bandorick said. The “Best of Show” winner, the restaurant with the best-dressed area, will also be awarded that day.

“It’s a great afternoon to fundraise for children at Christmas who would otherwise have an awful holiday,” Bandorick said. “It’s just a fun Ocean City tradition.”

Throughout the cookoff, Bandorick said patrons will have the chance to partake in a 50/50 raffle that benefits Worcester County G.O.L.D.

Leftover money not used to support the six families will go to the non-profit in the form of gift cards, which will be given to families that were referred at the last minute.

The cookoff begins at 1 p.m. at the West Ocean City Greene Turtle and votes will be tallied at 4 p.m.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.