The SCV Charity Chili Cookoff is back again and this time looking to raise tens of thousands of dollars to support education and Santa Clarita Valley students.
Each year, the event draws hundreds and donates the proceeds to several worthy causes; however, this year, all the support is going to the WiSH Foundation, which directly help Hart district students.
“Usually, this event serves a few charities — up to six at one time,” said Amanda Benson, of Ask Amanda, a marketing consultant who’s one of the event’s organizers. “This year, we chose WiSH Foundation because they cover all the junior highs and high schools (in the Santa Clarita Valley). They are really reaching a lot of students across the board.”
And for the local William S. Hart Union High School District, the support couldn’t have come at a better time.
The 22,000-plus student district hasn’t received funding from the state for its school libraries since about 2008, according to event officials, and the Chili Cookoff is trying to help the WiSH Foundation reach a $100,000 fundraising goal. The event is being sponsored this year by Gerard Cosmetics and Whitening Lightning.
The event includes live music from The Grizwalds, whose repertoire on their Facebook page ranges from funk classic “Brick House” to 80s pop hits like “Video Killed the Radio Star.”
In addition to the show and a musical complement from Silvertunes Entertainment at the popular Wolf Creek Brewery, there will be a live auction, a silent auction and, of course, a lot of chili.
There are currently 40 chilis slated for the competition, Benson said, which the chili chefs tend to take pretty seriously.
“We’ve got a lot of great people that this year are super competitive,” she said, adding that “if you’re serious about chili, you want a VIP ticket.”
In addition to the chili this year, Jersey Mike’s is selling sandwiches and chips, and donating all the proceeds to support the WiSH Foundation. Last year, the event raised about $60,000 for Santa Clarita Valley nonprofits, and this year, Benson and fellow organizer Nicole Stinson are hoping to exceed that goal.
One of the reasons why Stinson enjoys the event so much is because while it’s an evening event, it offers a welcoming atmosphere that the whole family can enjoy. In fact, this time around, Creative Years infant center and preschool is creating a children’s corner for the event.
“I love this event because not only are we networking for business and getting to meet people, but it’s also a chance for our families to get to know each other, and network, and it’s all to support a great charity,” Stinson said. “It’s a fun event where you don’t have to leave your family at home.”
A ticket to the cookoff goes for $25, while the VIP ticket is $65, and allows for entry a half-hour early, in addition to drink tickets, “a swag bag” and VIP seating.
While the chilis are set for the 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 20 event, there are still spots available if sponsors would like to support the live or silent auction. VIP entry begins at 5:30 p.m.
Tickets are on sale now. If anyone is interested in how they can become a part of the event, they can visit the event’s website by clicking here.