Who says you can't have fun and accomplish a lot of good at the same time? On Saturday, September 12 the southern Alameda County Rotary Clubs hosted the 24th annual Beer & Chili Fest at Newpark Mall in Newark.  This was our major annual event to benefit local Rotary Club philanthropic projects and other charitable organizations.  About a dozen organizations prepared samplings of their best chili and 9 local breweries were on hand to provide tastes of their beer to wash it all down. Add live music, arts & craft and vendor booths and a Kid Zone to keep the little ones entertained, and you end up with an afternoon of fun that will help a whole lot of people in need. 
Of course, our Club offered tastings of our Famous Vegetarian Chili.  What, no meat? How can this be? But our chili boasts that no animals were sacrificed in the process? This sounds too good to be true but it is really really good.  So much so that many of the Chili Fest fans remarked that it was the best chili there.  We even offered copies our secret recipe to anyone who sampled our chili so that they could enjoy it until next year's Beer & Chili Fest comes around.
A surprise guest even showed up at the event in the form of cool, cloudy weather in the low 70's.  It was a pleasant break from the blistering hot temperatures that we had the entire week.  And even a couple rain drops here and there did not dampen anyone's spirits, including those that worked so hard to make the Beer & Chili Fest a successful and pleasant afternoon.