Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey - The Atlantic Highlands Front PorchClub hosted its 7th Annual Chilifest on Saturday, October 1 at the Strauss Mansion inAtlantic Highlands. With 35 chili cook-off competitors and 400+ attendees, the FrontPorch Club raised over $10,000 to benefit the Atlantic Highlands Historical Society.The donation was made in honor of long-time Atlantic Highlands resident, Paul Boyd.Mr. Boyd, who passed away in February, 2011, was a former president of the HistoricalSociety, former Chairman of the Atlantic Highlands Environmental Commission and adedicated resident who worked tirelessly for his beloved town. He was pivotal in thepreservation and renovation of the Strauss Mansion, and he catalogued all of the historicbuildings in town.

Chili cook-off entrants competed for prizes in four categories, including Best in ’Fest,Most Exotic, Vegetarian and People’s Choice. For the first time in history, both thejudges and attendees agreed on the best chili in the competition, with the tag team effortof Neil Effron and Ross DiMiceli taking home the Best in ’Fest and People’s Choiceawards. Their chili, named Sleep Alone Tonight, beat out a tough field that includedother prize winners, including Teresa Irizarry for Most Exotic and Leslie Theyn for BestVegetarian. The People’s choice runners-up included Stu Scott for 2nd Place and PamelaAnderson, (a.ka. Corinna Thuss) for 3rd place.

Chilifest Planning Chair, Charlotte Magee said, “Chilifest has now earned a solid placeon the calendar of Atlantic Highlands residents. With live music from an array of localbands, beer from our very own micro-brewery and a fun but competitive chili cook-off,Chilifest has become an annual tradition and celebration of the great community of Atlantic Highlands.”

PHOTO:  Paul Eidman

This year’s judging panel included Carton Brewery co-owner Augie Carton, Reverend Dr.George Hancock-Stefan, Pastor, Central Baptist Church, Flaky Tart owner Marie Jackson,Atlantic Highlands Chamber of Commerce President Chuck Lero, Atlantic HighlandsMayor Fred Rast and Dan Thurman, last year’s Best in ’Fest Champion.

Many local musicians donated their time and talent, including Joe Niederberger, JoeRapolla Jim Sity and VyntEdge Rock & Roll Band.

The title sponsor of Chilifest 2011 was the Central Baptist Church in Atlantic Highlandsand premier sponsors included Howley Financial Group of Rumson, Trump NationalGolf Clubs in Colts Neck and Bedminster and the recently opened and award-winningCarton Brewery in Atlantic Highlands.

Other sponsors included: Atlantic Bagel Company, Atlantic Highlands Chamber ofCommerce, Blue Bay Inn, Cliffhanger Productions, Cooper Canyon, Eastpointe Health &Fitness, 1st Avenue Pizza, Happy Hills Learning Center, The Flaky Tart, Hulafrog, JaspanHardware, Kunya Siam Thai Restaurant, Maria’s Pizza, Nicole James Salon, PageChiropractic, The Party Dolls, Pure Liquid Salon, Seastreak, Sebastian’s Hair ’Em, ShoreHands Chiropractic, Sunrise Contracting and Zoe’s Restarant.

Event volunteers included members of the Atlantic Highlands Front Porch Club, the Knights of Columbus Lombardi Council 6552 and local Boy Scouts.