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Culinary arts contest on menu for art effort
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• WHAT: 3rd annual Manteca Mayor’s Committee on the Arts chili cook-off
• WHEN: Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013 from 12:30 to 2 p.m.
• WHERE: Manteca Senior Center, 295 Cherry Lane.
• TICKETS, MORE INFO: or (209) 823-2494.

This annual chili cook-off aims not only to whet taste-testers’ appetites. It also offers opportunities for many area non-profit organizations to broaden the array of services that they have been providing to the community for many years by helping them raise money to fund their projects.

“This year, we have added vendor space to provide an area for our clubs to sell their creative endeavors, and to invite the public to have the opportunity to sell their wares,” said Marlene Figone, speaking about the upcoming third annual Chili Cook-off fund-raiser hosted by the Manteca Mayor’s Committee on the Arts.

The event will be held on Sunday, Feb. 24, with the tasting portion to take place from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in the Manteca Senior Center, 295 Cherry Lane, behind the Civic Center.

The clubs that Figone is referring to are the nearly two-dozen Manteca groups that are under the umbrella of the Mayor’s Committee on the Arts. They are the California Heart of Decorative Artists, Delicato Special Events, Manteca Artists Guild, Boys & Girls Club, Camera Club, Chain Gang Club, Chamber of Commerce, Convention & Visitors Bureau, Federated Women’s Club, Garden Club, Historical Society, Junior Women’s Club, Kindred Arts, Mural Society, Youth Focus, Quilters Guild, MPRD Kids Zone, Society for Creative Anachronism, Soroptimist International of Manteca, and Symphony Comes to Manteca.

Pre-sale tickets to the chili cook-off are $5 each for six tastings. If purchased at the door for the same amount, the ticket holder will get only five tastings. For tickets, contact Marlene at or call (209) 823-2494.

Applications for those who want to take part in the chili cook-off are now available. Deadline for submission is Feb. 1. For application forms, contact Judy at or call (209) 824-1771.

Vendors’ applications also must be received on Feb. 1. Fee for an eight-foot table is $20. Contact Gayl at or at (209) 483-8187 for more information.

In addition to the chili tasting, there will be judging of the chili entries with prizes given away to the winners, plus raffle prizes.

“We are encouraging members of the Manteca Mayor’s Committee on the Arts clubs to come and cook up a pot of chili with their special secret ingredients, and we’re asking the public to join in the competition. We will have judges to decide who is the best (chili cook), and the public will be able to choose (the winners) too,” said Figone, a representative of the Mayor’s Committee on the Arts.

The committee decided to organize the chili cook-off fund-raiser three years ago “to provide additional funds for our clubs to continue their pursuit of making ‘art’ important in the community,” she added. “We also provide two scholarships to (high school) senior students in art including photography, music and drama.”

Established in 1987, the Manteca Committee on the Arts aims “to serve as a forum for creative groups and organizations, to work  with other agencies and organizations to promote creative endeavors in the community, to keep the community informed on issues affecting the arts, and to help publicize art events.”