OCEANSIDE — The recent Women’s Club of Oceanside annual Chili Cook Off drew more than 150 to taste chili and raise funds for the Oceanside Firefighters’ Association.
The cook-off served up 13 different chili varieties that ranged from vegetarian, to smoky barbecue and pulled pork.
Attendees could purchase a bowl of their favorite chili, or five samples of chili for $5. Both came with cornbread.
In addition to Women’s Club members cooking their favorite chili recipes, Oceanside firefighters also brought a pot of chili.
Club members cast votes on the best testing chili, with prizes awarded to the top three cooks.
A club member also gifted firefighters with a crockpot, so next year they can cook two pots of chili for the annual fundraiser.
The Firefighters’ Association supports multiple charities including aiding families that are displaced by emergencies.
The Women’s Club makes it their mission to raise funds for local nonprofit groups year round.
The club hosts fundraisers that support the Women’s Resource Center, Brother Benno’s soup kitchen, student college scholarships and local nonprofits that need a hand.
“We help as many organizations as we can, as much as we can,” Linda Cox, club vice president, ways and means, said. “It’s a really good club.”
One effort near and dear to members’ hearts is raising funds for backpacks and school supplies for local students in need.
“In September we bought school supplies for children in the Women’s Resource Center (programs),” Dorothy Arney, club president, said. “In October we bought pumpkins for Brother Benno’s food baskets. In December we held our Christmas Bazaar and bought 50 to 60 teddy bears, put in Christmas bags for kids.”
The club is 99 years old and has helped just about every group in Oceanside.
Club members own the property on Missouri Avenue where the clubhouse was built in 1948, and the club still resides.
Club members meet up monthly for lunch, socializing and entertainment, in addition to planned fundraisers. First Thursday member lunches raise money to cover club maintenance costs, and award a cash prize to one lucky attendee.
Plans are underway for the club’s 100-year anniversary celebration in January 2018. City officials, sister city Women’s Clubs and the public will be invited to celebrate the club’s century of service.