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Fourth chili cook-off Saturday in Castaic

Hosted by Sheriff's Dept.; benefits Special Olympics, Heads Up Therapy

Posted: September 30, 2009 9:58 p.m.
Updated: October 1, 2009 7:00 a.m.
Those with a craving for chili, a desire to help local charities and a curiosity to see law enforcement “sweat” have only one option for their Saturday outing.

It’s the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s fourth annual “Fun in the Sun Chili Cook-off” from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Jack Bones Equestrian Center in Castaic.

Proceeds benefit Santa Clarita Special Olympics and Heads Up Therapy on Horseback, a nonprofit organization that provides therapeutic riding for disabled children.

“They (attendees) are helping worthwhile organizations and they get to see the camaraderie of the Sheriff’s Department cooking chili for charity,” said Pitchess Detention Center Sgt. Gerri McCorkle, an event co-chair.

The cook-off also features games, an antique car show, vendors, food, raffle, a kids zone, live music and an equestrian show.

“It’s kind of an Old West theme, like the frontier days, with a petting zoo and inexpensive country activities like horse carting, a barrel race demonstration and tractor ride,” McCorkle said.

A $5 “chili card” entitles visitors to tasting various chili entries. “Chili cards” for children ages 7 through 14 are $3, and rides are $1 each. Children ages 6 and younger are free.

Last year, the cook-off raised about $15,000. This year the goal is set at $20,000, McCorkle said.

This will be the fourth year the chili cook-off has operated as a fundraiser, but the event itself dates back to 1981, when it was first hosted by Sheriff’s Relief Association, said event co-chair Tabitha Youngstrom.

The event went dormant for some time after 1993, but in 2005, Pitchess Detention Center brought it back as a fundraiser for local charities, Youngstrom said.

The Jack Bones Equestrian Center is accessible via the Parker Road exit off northbound Interstate 5 to Castaic Road south. Continue two miles to Tapia Canyon Road east and follow the signs to the event.

Interested sponsors should contact Youngstrom at (661) 294-6309.


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