The weather was perfect on Saturday October 12, 2019 for the 8th annual Chili & Quackers Challenge. We had all different chilis of all varieties- from mild to spicy, white to red, and chunky to smooth- even vegetarian and vegan chilis. This year we even had dessert in the form of a giant cookie donated by U-Touch, one of our partners on an international grant that brings digital literacy to students in Uganda. Thank you to Rotary Club of Del Mar Solana Beach for loan of the canopies that provided our chili cooks with much-needed shade. 
 Viewpoint Brewing Company and Prohibition Brewing Company provided their craft brews to wash down that chili.  Karin and Jim Davies organized games and crafts for the kids in attendance, many of whom visited Kristin Brakespear’s face painting booth (Kristin is owner of DiamondPrincessParties and also teaches at Painting With a Twist in Rancho Bernardo). They also could get a balloon sculpture from Happy Twist Balloons by KeikoDano’s Island Sounds provided steel drum music for the event. 
The Del Mar Lifeguards also played a big role. They had on display their surf rescue equipment (some of the dive gear was funded by our club) and gave a demonstration of a surf rescue- Don Fipps again played a swimmer in distress.  At around 3:30 the Lifeguards loaded more than 1,000 ducks into their surf rescue boat and piloted them to the surf line for launch. The ducks all found their way to shore quickly and everyone on the beach (and even one doodle) helped us ensure that all our ducks got back home safely. 
All attendees who purchased chili tastes were invited to vote for their favorite recipe. The overall winner was Don Fipps with his waterless IPA Chili and Chef Pedro of Flavor Chef took home honors for the professional division.  Haley Merkel’s vegan Chil-E was voted best vegetarian chili.
Special thanks go to organizer Matt Kurth, for all his work on all aspects of the event, all our chili chefs, Philippe Lamoise for spearheading the online duck and chili sales and providing smooth check-in and registration; Beth Westburg and her husband Reid for coordinating the hot dogs and other food; Keith and Jeanie Ward for staffing the registration desk; Dugan Moore Lamoise for coordinating members of Boy Scout Troop 713, who provided all sorts of help, John Baranowski for serving as MC, Val Myers for coordinating the prizes and counting the votes (thanks as well to members of her State Farm office for helping serve chili), Miles Fleming for transporting the ducks, Sharyn Daly for handling the rentals and the Sno-Cone booth, Chandra Collure for making sure the propane kept flowing, Garrie Rhodes, for staffing the drink tent, Tony Villasenor for help with event break-down, Jim Brunner with Minuteman Press helped produce the banners and other event signage and Dee House for help coordinating volunteers. Thank you as well to everyone who attended the event!  
Our event sponsors provided critical support. Thank you to Janice and Matt Kurth, Philippe and Dugan Lamoise,  Marty Peters, who all donated at the Platinum level; Dan Smargon and Monty Woolley for donating at the Silver level, and Kathy and Bill Dougherty, Jim McClellan, Val Myers, and Ole Prahm, who all donated at the Bronze Level. 
We’re indebted to the local restauranteurs who competed in the Chili Cook-off:  Flavor Chef, International Smoke, Jimmy O’s, Milton’s Deli, Ranch 45, Viewpoint Brewing Company, and West End Del Mar.
This “friendraiser” is a way for our club to give back to the community and to raise the visibility of Rotary and our many projects, both local and international. Please see our Facebook page or the Club’s website for more photos. Visit the Google photo album to download any you like and please share any photos you have!