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Los Al Student's Chili Cookoff Raises $2,150 for Eagle Scout Project

Kevin Olszewski, 17, hopes to turn the cookoff into an annual scholarship fundraiser in honor of a friend who passed away.

A Los Alamitos Boy Scout raised about $2,150 at a Saturday chili cookoff aimed at earning money to help renovate part of a Cypress Church.

For his Eagle Scout project, 17-year-old Kevin Olszewski wanted 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.

The project just needed funding -- about $2,000 to $2,500 worth of funding -- and the chili cookoff was born.

“Kevin raised all the money needed and maybe a little more,” said Cindy Olszewski, Kevin's mom, in an email.

According to Cindy, about 60 people attended. 48 people donated money to taste and judge the chili at eight different booths.

Dustin Sova, an Eagle Scout and resident of Long Beach, won the cookoff.

Cindy said any money that is not used for the shed project will be donated to the church.

“Tom and I are very proud of all the accomplishments Kevin has made in the process of becoming an Eagle Scout,” Cindy said. “He has learned so much and has grown into a fine young man and leader.”

Because of its success, Olszewski, a Los Alamitos High School student, plans to turn the cookoff 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.

“We are already brainstorming about how to make it (into) the annual event for Tim Killian,” Cindy wrote. 

According to Cindy, the event raised about $800 from the cookoff part, $800 in donations from family and friends and about $550 from the ladies club at the church.

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