2020 SWFHR Chili Cook-Off

Join us for our “2nd Annual Chili Cook-Off” on Saturday, February 22nd from 11 AM to 3 PM hosted at SWFHR!

We invite our community to ‘Compete or Just Eat’ at our annual Chili Cook-Off.  Bonus for the family we will be at SWFHR’s Rescue Facility where you and the family can see all beautiful ‘rescued’ horses.  If time permits we may even run a few tours to give you a little more insight into our operation.

Free public parking will be located in our front parking lot and you will be transported to our event located inside our facility.

This event is BYOB (Bring Your Own Beverage)!  For the adults ‘yes’ that means your beverage.  ID will be checked, wristbands worn and Disclaimer Waivers will be signed by anyone bringing adult beverages.  There will be beverages available for purchase if you don’t bring your own.


  • There will be alternate food vendors for those who don’t like chili
  • Animal charities welcome
  • Face Painting by Pamela Newton-Volz
  • Open to any kind of vendor


  • Calendar Girls of Florida (12:00 pm to 1:00 pm)
  • Pony rides by Lark Campisano of “Endless Trails Stables” (1:00 pm – 2:30 pm)
  • Charlotte County K9 unit demonstration (not confirmed yet)

Judging Panel this year will be:
(5) firefighters from the surrounding area that will be prepared for the heat!

Prize Awards this year are:
1st Place – $100 & a Chili Grand Champion trophy
2nd Place – $75 & a Chili Champ Runner-Up trophy
3rd Place – $50 & a Chili Champ 3rd Place trophy
People’s Choice Award – $25 & a Plaque
Host Choice Award – $25 Gift Card & a Gold Chili Medal
Best Both – $25 Gift Card

This year SWFHR celebrates 10 years of rescuing horses in our local community.  February 21 is our literal anniversary so we will have our wildly successful “Chili Cook-Off” be the celebration event. So come on out, bring the family, and friends too. You don’t have to be a horse person to love chili, especially in the wintertime.

This is the first of many smaller-scale fundraisers for the year.  We will not be running a large benefit this year like in the past.

We are still accepting Contestants!

Please either fill out the electronic form or download a paper form and return it back to us by Friday, February 14th.


1) Contestants must file either an electronic or paper Entry Form with a registration fee to reserve a spot.
2) The event site will open for registration check and set up at 9 a.m.
3) There will be no parking allowed inside the cook-off area unless otherwise approved.
4) Ingredients must be pre-cooked prior to the commencement of the official cook-off. Meat may be treated, pre-cut or ground, but must be cooked. Each contestant is solely responsible to make sure that no ingredient is undercooked and/or that there is no risk of food born illness.  You must be willing to eat your own chili.
5) The registrant must be 18 years or older
6) The contest is limited to 20 chili vendors.
7) No restrictions as to chili ingredients but you must be willing to provide a chili ingredient list to Chili Bosses.
8) Contestants may bring things to garnish their chili.
9) Contestants must set up their “stations” and provide their own equipment to include but not limited to: tables, chairs, tent, pots, aprons, propane tank (if owned), extension cord, or other items you might need.
10) Contestants are encouraged, urged and otherwise motivated to decorate their area, tent, table, and event themselves.
11) Contestants will be required to have a representative present to serve starting at 11 a.m. and continually available till 2 p.m.
12) Contestants are highly suggested to cook at least 3 gallons (approximately 3 crockpots) of chili or to have enough chili for a 2-hour taste testing time frame.
13) All voting begins at 1:30 pm, winners announced approximately 2:30pm. Tie or Disputes will be settled by Cook-Off organizers.
14) SWFHR will provide Tasting Cups, Spoons and Ticket Jars, and Access to Power while available (power is limited… we suggest that you bring a source of keeping your chili warm).
15) Each contestant is responsible for policing and cleaning up the area at the end of the day and removing all items from their area. No items shall be allowed to remain after the close of the contest unless pre-approved.
16) It’s up to you the contestant to entice the patrons to try your chili and cast their vote for you. Try sweetening the patrons’ experience with crackers, cornbread, be creative and engaging. The more chili you have, the more potential votes you can serve.

1) Registration Deadline is Friday, February 14th, 2020, at 8 pm EST!!
2) The registration fee of $20 is applied to only 1 recipe and 1 tent space up to 10’x10′. Enter two or more different recipes for $20 per additional recipes.
3) Registration fees may be paid via cash, card, or check to South West Florida Horse Rescue, Inc. and have a memo of “2020 SWFHR Chili Cook-off
4) Fees paid prior to the registration deadline of February 14th are eligible for return should a need for cancelation arise.
5) Cancelation requests must be directed to events@swfhr.org or (239) 822-5366 on or before the deadline.

PRIZES: (no commitment of cash unless stated)
1) Chili is blind judged on Aroma, Eye Appeal, Taste, and Overall Satisfaction.  The decision of the judges is final.
2) Prize breakdowns:
1st Place – $100 & a Chili Grand Champion trophy
2nd Place – $75 & a Chili Champ Runner-Up trophy
3rd Place – $50 & a Chili Champ 3rd Place trophy
People’s Choice Award – $25 & a Plaque
Host Choice Award$25 Gift Card & a Gold Chili Medal
Best Both$25 Gift Card


We are still accepting sponsors!

Please either fill out the electronic form or download a paper form and return it back to us by Friday, February 14th.


GOLD SPONSOR ($250) AKA-“Hot Pepper” sponsor
 Business Logo will be printed on our Event Banner.
 Your Business Name will be announced periodically throughout the event
and a focused announcement of your sponsorship at the awards ceremony.
 (If you have)Your ‘Business Banner’ will be displayed for the entire event. Limit only (1) banner.
 Your Business Name plus contact information with logo will be listed in the ‘Event Program’.

SILVER SPONSOR ($100) AKA “Chili Bean” sponsor
 Your Business Name will be announced periodically throughout the event.
 (If you have) Your ‘Business Banner’ will be displayed for the entire event. Limit only (1) banner.
 Your business Name plus contact information with logo will be listed in the ‘Event Program’.

BRONZE SPONSOR ($50)   AKA “Chili Powder” sponsor
 Your Business Name will be announced once throughout the event.
 Your business Name only! NO contact information or logo will be listed in the ‘Event Program’.


– OR –

We are still accepting vendors!

Please either fill out the electronic form or download a paper form and return it back to us by Friday, February 19th.


  • Check payable to; SWFHR and can be mailed to 14811 State Road, Punta Gorda, FL 33982
  • Questions? Contact Tina Garrett, 239-440-9891
  • Each vendor – must supply their own tables & chairs
  • Acceptance of this agreement, the Vendor expressly releases SOUTH WEST FLORIDA HORSE RESCUE, INC. and its agents from all liability for damage, injury, or loss to any person or goods which may arise from the use of vendor space. Signature acknowledges the acceptance of terms.
  • All vendors are requested to share in the marketing of the event. We will provide a flyer you can email, as well as please invite your local friends and customers list to attend the event.  Please also see our event on Facebook and “invite” people to attend.
  • Set up times/breakdown times: Arrive at least 1hr before the event to set up and breakdown no earlier than 1hr before the event ends, unless expressed prior to the event.  Further details may be emailed as the event gets closer.
  • No sublet or split booth space shall be permitted without prior written agreement with SWFHR. Only one table per company name.  No space is held without payment & completed form.
  • All vendors and assistants will adhere to the General Facility Rules of South West Florida Horse Rescue, Inc. that are posted at the main entrance of the facility as well as will be handed to each vendor upon arrival.
  • Pathways and Exits shall be kept clean, clear, and free of obstacles. Vendor space shall be fixed in position for the duration of the event.
  • Distribution of samples and literature is strictly limited to the confines of the Vendor’s booth.
  • Voice and/or music amplification must be kept to a sufficiently low volume so as not to disturb other vendors or attendees.
  • No “Glitter” is permitted. Do not nail, screw, staple, pin, tack, tape, etc., any materials directly to the host location. Leave area clean upon move-out.
  • No smoking permitted at vendor booths. Vendors & assistants must smoke in the designated smoking areas.
  • No animals or pets are permitted, unless service animals or otherwise expressed.
  • SWFHR is not responsible for the replacement of lost or stolen goods. Vendors are responsible for obtaining their own coverage of their belongings.
  • In the event, any outside cause, such as war, fire, weather, any Act of God, etc. prevent the Event, SWFHR reserves the right to retain Vendor donations for expense compensation, and will advise on rescheduling if possible.


– OR –


When is the event

Saturday, February 22
11:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Where is the event

14811 State Road 31
Punta Gorda, FL 33982

What to bring


The Chili Arena
(layout of the contest grounds)

Stu’s Motorcycles

Stu’s Motorcycles is a team of dedicated and experienced motorcycle enthusiasts located in Fort Myers, Florida. Motorcycles aren’t just what we sell — they’re what we do. Each member of our team shares a deep knowledge of our lineup. We’ll put this expertise on your side as we help you find the bike that perfectly matches your needs.

Ralph W. Sparks American Legion Post 336

The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization, committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow servicemembers and veterans.

What is a Quarter Auction?

A quarter auction is a cross between an auction & a raffle where people bid on items using numbered bidding paddles and a rate of quarters per paddle to bid on one item.  Unlike normal auctions at a Quarter Auction, you don’t have to increase a bid to potentially win an item.  Yet like a raffle, your numbered paddle(s) is like your raffle ticket(s) where if you anti a bid on an item and they call your number you WIN.

The fact that you don’t have to keep increasing your bidding amount, enables people to get valuable items for as little as .25,.50, .75 or $1.00 without spending large sums of money.   Quarter auctions are a great way to raise much-needed funds for our communities.

How do SWFHR Quarter Auctions work?

If you’ve never been to one of SWFHR’s Quarter Auctions, here is how they work:

When you arrive, you must rent at least one bidding paddle at the door. Yes, you can rent as many paddles as you like.  Each paddle is numbered and has a corresponding poker chip.  Once you’ve decided how many paddles you want to rent, we hand you those paddles.  Then we pull the corresponding numbered poker chip(s) to your bidding paddles and place them in a tumbler much like a Bingo spinner.

At the start of the auction, our MC will hold up the first item up for bid.

  • let’s say: we hold up a $25 gift card to Outback Steakhouse.

Our MC will ask for a certain number of quarters based on the value of the item.

  • let’s say: the MC asks for 2 quarters for this item, you have the option to bid by placing 2 quarters in the bowl on your table and then you may hold up your bidding paddle(s).
    Side note:  If you have 2 or more paddles you may bid for some or all of your paddles – provided you put the same amount of quarters call for per bidding paddle for each of the ones you raise in the air.
    FYI, we have seen this more than once, someone only chose to bid with 1 of their paddles and sure enough, the number drawn was the number on the paddle they did not use. Don’t let this happen to you. Lol!

One of our runners will then pick up the collection bowl at your table and empty the quarters from the bowl and turn them in.  Once all runners have returned to the collection point the MC will announce for the tumbler to stop spinning and draw a numbered poker chip.  The number drawn must correspond to a current paddle in the air for a winner.  If you have that number but didn’t raise that paddle you can not play it at this point.  All paddles are to remain in the air until a winner is found.  There is no more money to be added, we simply spin and pull until we have a winner.  This may take a few times of drawing to do so.

  • Example: Let’s say you have 4 paddles and you really really want that $25 gift card, you bid all 4 paddles by placing 8 quarters in the bowl. We spin and draw one of your numbers, you just won a $25 gift card for $2!!!!

This goes on until we run out of items.

Our Quarter Auctions usually only last about 2 hours and they are a LOT of fun for the entire family!

Each person attending should bring plenty of quarters so that you can bid, bid, bid.  Of course, we will have quarters on stand by.  If you would like to donate an item(s) to SWFHR to offer up for bid at our next quarter auction or any fundraiser for that matter please contact info@swfhr.org or call (239) 567-4111.

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