Emerald Coast Parrot Head Club chili cook-off

Special to The Log
Members of Parrot Head Club helped with the fundraiser and were able to present a check for $6,343.40 to the American Cancer Society.

The Eighth Annual Chili Cook-off and Silent Auction to benefit the American Cancer Society and the Relay for Life was held in early March on the Destin harbor at HarborWalk Village with more than 1,000 people in attendance.

The event chair, Larry Phelps, had dozens of Parrot Head volunteers assisting him, including president, Hank Bittmann, and vice president, Buz Embry. Past treasurer and Destin Relay for Life event chair, Jean Grieve, was on hand to volunteer throughout the day as well and represent the Relay.

This was their most successful Chili Cook-off to date, raising more than $6,300.  The ECPHC is also a Silver Sponsor for the Destin Relay for Life for the third year in a row. There were more than 20 chili entries from participating Parrot Heads along the Emerald Coast and seven area restaurants provided entries: Harry T's Lighthouse, Grande Vista Bar and Grill, Crab Island Cantina, AJ's Seafood & Oyster Bar, KC's Sandbar and Grill and Landshark's Pizza. Celebrity judges chose their top three chili entries, from chocolate-infused to sirloin-loaded varieties.

Harry T’s, Dan Empson, Harborwalk Village event management, Gayle Vann, and HarborWalk Village marketing and public relations, Maggie Woods and Jamie Hall, were instrumental in making the event happen by accommodating many of the logistical needs and handling all of the publicity and advertising. 

The Destin Relay for Life event will take place May 10-11 at the Morgan Sports Complex in Destin. For more information contact Jean Grieve, event chair, at, 240-4300, or visit

The DizzyJukes Band provided entertainment early in the day.  Later in the day, The Sauce Boss cooked up his signature spicy gumbo while singing his smooth blues on stage during the Chili Cook-Off.

People's Choice was awarded to Ray Yantch 

1st Place was awarded to Candy Pate

2nd Place was awarded to Kenton Erickson

3rd Place was awarded to Kathy Mauck

Professional category winners were:

1st Place Harry T's

2nd Place Crab Island Cantina

3rd PlaceEmerald Grande's Grande Vista Bar and Grille

Lick'em, Shoot'em, Bite'em and Eat'em Contest sponsored by Crab Island Cantina winners were:

1st Place- Manuel Garcia

2nd Place- Larry Phelps

3rd Place- Gary Vonschondorf

Most Spirited- Brittany Brizal