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Chili lovers rejoice as VFW readies for third annual cookoff competition
VFW chili cookoff
After last year's success, community members will once again put their chili-making skills to the test at the third annual VFW Chili Cookoff on Sunday (Photo contributed).

Turlock’s Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 5059 is looking to spice things up this weekend when they host their third annual Chili Cookoff. The event will be taking place this Sunday. 16 at the Post headquarters at 1405 E. Linwood Ave. starting at noon.

As of Friday, there have been six contestants confirmed to battle it out for chili supremacy, with more expected to sign up. The big winner will be determined by guests in attendance, who will be welcomed to taste each of the chilis with the $10 price of admission. All of the event’s proceeds will go towards Post 5098.

Lynn Meshew is the VFW Auxiliary Post 5059 president and spoke about some of the services the organization will continue to provide to community members through the funds collected at the event.

“We really like to get the community out to the VFW and see our facility,” Meshew explained. “All the proceeds go towards the VFW Post, the veterans we serve and their families. We offer the families mental support. If they have a loved one overseas, we try to assist the families where there’s a need. We also help feed the homeless in town, whether they’re veterans or not. If we have leftovers from our events, we make plates and pass them around at the most populated homeless areas in town.”

Meshew explained that VFW events like the annual Chili Cookoff are essential considering the fact that the organization does not get any government funding.

“We don’t get any funding from the government, none of the VFW posts do. We raise our own money to do what we’re able to do. Our biggest event of the year is the hamburger booth at their fairgrounds, but these other small events help us supplement that throughout the year,” she said.

Meshew hopes that even more money can be raised through raffles that will also be held throughout the day. Every year, the VFW typically receives 30 to 40 donations from local businesses in Turlock, such as gift certificates and wine baskets, to be raffled off. Raffle tickets will be sold separately from admission tickets at the event.

Admission tickets will be available the day of the event at the door. Tickets can also be purchased in advance at the VFW. Doors to the event will open at noon with chili tasting expected to kick off at 1 p.m.