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Bahia Matanchen Aminals
2012 Chili Cook-off Report

Mexicans were shouting olé after winning the third annual Chili Cook-off that supports spay-neuter clinics in the Bahia Matanchen area. The contest set a record for funds raised.

Jorge Beracochea, also known as Georgie, was the first Mexican to MC the event. He chattered with such contagious excitement that the likes of Trilby went on crazed betting sprees with the wine toss. Georgie charmingly pronounced the "winners" as "wieners" but he then welcomed a small lesson in English pronunciation.

The cook-off winners were also Mexican: the team of Alejandra, Caren, Livier and Fortunato. You will also know them as owners of Chelin Mini-Super in Aticama. Alejandra came up with the recipe from scratch. "She didn't copy from any recipe; she did it all from her imagination," said Fortunato. "It's just great that we could be the first (Mexicans) to win."

The award for the best presentation went to the H*A*S*H team, a takeoff on M*A*S*H with the new acronym defining "help" for animals. Kaly, Fred, Gilles, Ana, Wally, Amaranth, Linda and Glen made up the cast. Fred was a standout, impersonating cross-dresser Cpl. Max Klinger from the M*A*S*H TV series. Fred was a natural in his fine-feathered feminine outfit. Said his wife, Kaly: "Of course, Fred looked the part. His drawers are filled with negligees."

Jeannie Chapman, a regular at the cook-offs, said she was especially happy to see Mexicans in the forefront this year. Said Jeannie: "I love the camaraderie and the way this event brings everyone who lives here together." Poncho Pulido was the chief chili chef on a team with Chuck and Lesley. "It was a very enjoyable day," he said. "I liked the way it felt as an international event, like local people were totally included," said Poncho.

The party, which is the primary fund raiser for the spay/neuter clinics, was in its third year. It raised a record 48,000 pesos to pay for supplies for the dozen monthly clinics that spay or neuter about 15 animals each. In 2011, at both large and small clinics, 282 animals were neutered. Since there is no funding from any level of government, Bahia Matanchen Animals Programs prevent literally tens of thousands of unwanted animals from being born to a life of disease and hunger.

Organizer Kate Wacker says the cook-off depends on hundreds of hours of volunteer help and contributions, both in chili cooking and for the auction. "Wow! A huge thank you goes to the volunteers and attendees at the third annual Chili Cook-off and silent auction. "The food was great, the auction was lively (almost 100 items were bid on) and it was great to mingle with friends and neighbours here on the Bahia Matanchen. "Best of all, we were able to fund the spay and neuter projects for the coming year, netting more than in 2011!"

Here is the list of people to thank, with apologies if we inadvertently left anyone out: Chilli cookers not previously mentioned:

From San Blas: Roxanna's team - Roxanna was ill, but Jane and crew carried on with Pecos Bill's help
From San Blas: Chili Power - Billie, Glenda, et al
From San Blas: Chef's Don and Phil
From El Llano: Shangri-La's Secret - Vivien Wright
From Aticama: Aticama Gringo Gulch - Donna, Bob, Shirley et al.
From Los Cocos: Lesley, Chuck y Poncho

And the others who contributed so much time:

Bill Stewart, chili contest organizer
Trilby, Victoria and Robin for vegetarian chili.
Fritz & Leon, chairs & tables, set up and take down.
Elna, Sam & Teresa for the auction.
Loran & Barb for drink sales.
Dave & Jane, food table and multiple tasks.
Lesley at food table.
John & Yolanda for serving dessert.
Lesley, Kay, Barb, Jane, Christina, Victoria, Kate -baking & mixing.
Gordon & Greg, money handlers.
Gordon for music and sound system
Rancho de las Palmas, La Penita, for the beautiful large palms donated to the auction.
Glen for the heliconias
Gene & Sharon wine toss supervisors
Ochoa Nursery donated plants given as the best presentation award.
Garza Canela donated first prize, a multi course dinner for 4 with wine & aperitifs
Amaranth Carlson, who is making beautiful custom hats for a donation to BMA.
Everyone who donated auction items.

Adds Kate: "On a final note, we desperately need someone in Santa Cruz to do the organization for a weekend clinic there or an animal transfer the Aticama facility. Please contact me at 231-2341 or katewacker@hotmail.com."