Fun in the Sun Chili Cook Off
Each fall, thousands of people flock to the Jack Bones Equestrian Center at Pitchess Detention Center to celebrate what has become a local tradition. “The Fun In the Sun Chili Cook Off has become one of those events everyone looks forward to,” said event coordinator and retired Sheriff’s Sergeant Gerri McCorkle. “Each year the crowd gets larger and everyone has a great time.”
The October 14th event, which benefits Special Olympics under the banner of the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) for Special Olympics will feature nearly 30 chili tasting booths, classic car show, kids games, law enforcement displays, crafts, live music and a beer and margarita garden. “This has always been one of our favorite events,” said Special Olympics Vice President of Operations Laura Mayo. “It truly has something for everyone in the family.”
The Fun in the Sun Chili Cook Off is in its 12th year of providing support for local Special Olympics athletes. Mark McCorkle, retired Commander from the Sheriff’s Department and now Interim Executive Director of the LETR for Special Olympics Southern California says law enforcement has a unique relationship with Special Olympics. “Law Enforcement has a 36-year history of raising money for Special Olympics. Over $600 million has been raised in that time and over $60 million was raised just last year by law enforcement officers all over the world.”
The LETR hosts a number of other notable events to raise money, such as Polar Plunges, Tip-A-Cops, a Plane Pull and Bunco Tournaments. “We’ll do just about anything to raise money for Special Olympics,” Mark McCorkle said. “We love the opportunity to raise awareness for individuals with intellectual disabilities and help raise funds for these great athletes.”
Attendance has increased every year for the event and Gerri McCorkle believes that trend will continue this year. “We have already registered more chili booths than in any previous year, so we expect attendance to grow as well,” she said. “Every year we think we have peaked, but the event just seems to grow larger with each successive year.”
The event will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and tickets may be purchased at the gate, or at www.sosc.org/scvtv/chilicookoff.
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