The past weekend Mojave Elks #2059 held their annual Chili Cook-off.
By size, Mojave Lodge is considered a smaller lodge. Many of our members live in other parts of the country due to the nature of employment in the area. However, we are blessed to be surrounded with forward thinking companies such as Mojave Spaceport, Scaled Composites, Golden Queen Mining, and Edwards Air Force Base. Just down the road, we also have Pete Knights Veterans Home providing residence to some of America’s finest servants.
The Chili Cook-Off is just one of the opportunities to spread the word on the many programs supported by the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and this weekend was no exception.
Dozens of members of the lodge, as well as friends and family, stepped up to bring this event to life and raise funds for the California-Hawaii Association Major Project.
Each year association members continue to raise millions of dollars (over $116.2 MILLION since 1950). These funds ensure that children in our area experience a renewed hope on life and all of the joys that may bring! A wonderful video highlighting this year’s Theme Child, Aya, is available here.
Regardless of the number of members in any lodge throughout the nation, the foundation of all good works is the size of its heart and Mojave is no exception!
The Chili Cook-Off involves weeks of planning and coordinating then, like any other major undertaking, the final preparation, and execution of the event.
This event is one of several taking place at the 40 Acre Trap and Skeet Range approximately 2 miles from the lodge. Since the lodge is temporarily relocated to the range for two days, several truckloads of supplies are loaded up, transported, and set up at the range. Then, depending on the weather, other arrangements are made. With a temporary stage for the Saturday night band, the winds determine whether the band will be on the stage or under a different shelter. And this year was the exception. With higher than normal winds and cooler temperatures our band Mudfish shared their music with us from under a more secure canopy.
However, the winds didn’t stop a dedicated few from bringing in additional funds when they took the plunge in the dunk tank! As a great sport, Ashley Wussick even went in a second time after the cook-off giving the general populace another opportunity to test their pitching capabilities. You can see what happened to her and others in the video below.
Immediately preceding the cook-off, the festivities began with a horseshoe throwing competition. The trick is being able to adjust for the 35-45 MPH gusts of wind. On the one hand, the wind would either impede the horseshoes progress. Depending on the direction it would carry it beyond its desired trajectory. Our Exalted Ruler, Warren Guest, got into the swing along with several other competitors. However; the trophy went to Raymond Rogers for resoundingly defeating the competition.
Again, the highlight event of the weekend was our Chili Cook-off. Our champion Jessica Smith not only won the judges over with her first-ever participation. Jessica used her grandmother’s Chili recipe and, to her delight, walked away with the Audience Choice Award.
Aside from some of our campers feeling as if they might have been trans-located to OZ, we give a grateful thank you to our event Chair Todd Smith. The weekend was a success and you are cordially invited to join us for a recap as you watch the video below produced by lodge member Paul Wagner.
Mojave Elks Lodge #2059