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Restaurants serve up chili in Hots for Tots Cookoff

(Dec. 5, 2014) Local restaurants will showcase their recipes and compete for the top prize Sunday, during the Ocean City Parrothead Club’s 16th annual “Hots for Tots” Chili Cookoff at the Greene Turtle in West Ocean City.

The Cookoff helps raise funds for Worcester G.O.L.D. (Giving Other Lives Dignity), a nonprofit helping children, adults and families in need during the holiday season. In addition, toys are collected for the Ocean City Police Department and the Santa House in Snow Hill.

“This is our 16th annual, it’s an Ocean City pastime,” OCPHC President India Bandorick said. “Everyone who comes out does help a child in need and we call that ‘party with a purpose.’”

Restaurants will provide samples of their chili, ranging from hot to mild in the audience-judged competition. Attendees vote on their favorite recipe to determine which restaurant will take home the top prize.

“It’s a great day with lots of football, bar specials and of course chili,” Bandorick said. “Tell everyone to bring a friend and join the town in a great event.”

There will also be a 50/50 raffle and OCPHC merchandise can be purchased at the event.

Last year, about 400 people attended Hots for Tots, which raised about $1,000 for Worcester G.O.L.D. and organizers “filled the paddy wagon to the brim” with toys, Bandorick said.

The Parrothead Club has helped “dozens of families with hundreds of children throughout the years.” This year they will adopt seven families, eight adults and 13 children, for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The families are from Snow Hill and Pocomoke, said OCPHC member Bob Gilmore.

The families make a list of needs and the children write out their Christmas wish lists for Santa. Club members purchase the items on these lists and the organization delivers the gifts to these families a week before Christmas. They provide a supermarket card to each family for Christmas dinner as well, Gilmore said.

The Greene Turtle in West Ocean City has hosted Hots for Tots for over a decade.

“What makes this all worthwhile is when the truck is all filled up for the kids at the end and that’s not even counting the people who gave money,” said Greene Turtle General Manager Chad Rogers.

Last year, Mothers Cantina on 28th Street swept the awards. Its ‘Mother’s Chili Con Café’ took home top honors. In addition, the restaurant won the “Best of Show” award for a western theme. This award goes to the crowd’s favorite decorated serving station. The Mexican restaurant will be back this year to defend its titles.

Harborside, last year’s second place finisher, with its ‘Cheesesteak Chili’ will be back this year as well. Applebees, the West Ocean City Greene Turtle, Ocean City Brewing Co., Blu Crabhouse, The Greenhouse and Pickles Pub will also be competing, with more entries expected to sign up on Thursday or Friday, Bandorick said Tuesday.

“It’s one day out of the year where coworkers and friends of Ocean City all get together,” Rogers said. “Everyone is happy and having fun. There is a positive vibe and events like this is what makes living here great.”

The cost of admission is $10 or a new, unwrapped children’s toy. Money will be given to Worcester G.O.L.D and toys will go to the police department or donated to the Santa House.

The Hots for Tots event will take place from 1-4 p.m. this Sunday, Dec. 7, at the West Ocean City Greene Turtle on Route 611.

For more information, visit www.ocphc.com and click on the Chili Cookoff link, call the Greene Turtle at 410-213-1500 or email ocphc@comcast.net.

Mother’s Cantina won the 2013 Ocean City Parrothead Club’s
15th annual Hots for Tots Chili Cookoff with “Mother’s Chili Con Café.”
The Best of Show award also went to Mother’s. Pictured
are Linda Barragan, left, and owners Neely and Ryan James.



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