What started out as an Eagle Scout Project has turned into something bigger.
Los Alamitos Boy Scout Kevin Olszewski is still looking for a few more contenders for a Saturday chili cook-off aimed at raising money to help him renovate a local church.
But Olszewski, a 17-year-old Los Alamitos High School senior, is also looking beyond his service project with hopes of helping the community for years to come and of making something good come out of personal tragedy.
If Saturday’s fundraiser goes well, Olszewsk will turn the cook-off into an annual event to support a scholarship fund in the name of Tim Killian, a friend and scout who died in a car crash July 4.
Killian, in his early 20s, was studying cooking at Cal Poly Pomona.
“I was just thinking we could do another chili cook off because he liked to cook, and he wanted to be a chef,” Olszewski said. “Everybody misses him, and we all love him, and we’ll never forget him."
And what would Killian say if he knew they might someday do a fundraiser in his honor?
“I think that he would be flattered by it," Olszewski said. "He’d be really happy, and he would want to compete in the chili cook off."
The chili cook-off begins at noon on Saturday at Holy Cross Lutheran Church at 4321 Cerritos Avenue, Cypress. Olszewksi was hoping to have 20 booths worth of contenders for $25 each, and right now he’s got twelve.
In an interview with Patch Thursday, he said there was still plenty of time for people to join in. He said they can even sign up the day of.
Olszewski hopes to earn enough money to build a new gardening tool shed at Holy Cross Lutheran Church – where his troop, Troop 657 of Rossmoor, Los Alamitos and Seal Beach meets.
Click the pdf below the image to see an entry form.
“The public is invited to be the judges,” Olszewski wrote in an email. “For $4 they can sign up to be a chili taster and help choose the winners. There will also be a bake sale booth with baked goods, drinks and candy.”
There will also be prizes for the chili cook-off winners awarded at 2:15 p.m. Some of the gift certificates include Best Buy, Jiffy Lube, Amazon and Pizza Hut.
The tasting/judging runs from noon to 1:45 p.m. but Olszewski said people can show up as early as 8 a.m. to start cooking. The event is open to everyone, not just Scouts.
For more information, email Olszewski at firstname.lastname@example.org