Lakehurst Historical Society Cooks Up A Winter Fundraiser

There were plenty of gift baskets to buy tickets for and those large trophies went to the winners of this year’s competition. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  LAKEHURST – Area residents knew who picked up the hot pepper adorned award trophies for the recently held Souper Bowl – Chili Challenge.

  That big event drew record attendance at the borough ‘s community center. The event served to spice up some winter doldrums thanks to the Lakehurst Historical Society’s annual bowl of fun.

  The Souper Bowl featured local emergency and community organizations who competed with their best tasting chilis and soups for trophies.

  A gift auction and 50/50 raffle was also part of the fun. An assortment of delicious baked goods was available for purchase.

  LHS President Bernadette Dugan was busy at the back of the room serving up cupcakes, brownies and other sweet treats for a modest cost along with hot coffee and other beverages.

  “This is one of our two major fundraisers that keeps the museum (across the street) open. It has been open for 30 years continuously.” The Lakehurst Museum, is in operation on Sundays and Wednesdays from 12:30 p.m. until 3 p.m.

Soup and chili makers stirred up the pot to cook up a fun filled fundraiser complete with warm food provided by various local organizations during this year’s Lakehurst Historical Society’s Souper Bowl of Chili Challenge. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  Admission to the event was only $5 a person and that included tasting the many chilis and soups in the competition from 3 to 6 p.m. “This helps keep our rich history alive. We are overjoyed with the turnout we have today,” Dugan added.

  “It is our local emergency rescue squad, police department along with other community organizations who participate,” Dugan said.

  Her sister Laura Earhart was helping her out at the dessert area.  “She put me to work. I am a member of the society so when I walked in, she said you are a member so you should be helping out.”

  A familiar fixture at the event was police Lieutenant Ian James with his Hot Pursuit Chili. The men and women in blue of Lakehurst also offered up some Creamy Tomato Basil soup for the soup entry of this year’s competition. “It is very ‘soup perb’ he said with a laugh. I didn’t change anything with our chili. If I did people would get upset.”

  The Borough’s First Aid Squad was right next to the police department’s table and their members headed by Steven Oglesby. Pat Sinkewitz and Marcy Guyer served up “Magical Mystery Chili” and their popular chili.

  The Fleet Association 124 had their chili which has been warmly received by the judges in the past was back for sampling by the crowd. “It is the same chili as last year when I won,” member Michael Smith said.

Fleet Association 124 members Michael Smith and Janet Engel stand beside their prize-winning chili during the event. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  He introduced fellow member Janet Engel as his partner in crime with the club’s presentation. “We were here last year,” she said

  Mayor Harry Robbins was joined by his wife and other family members including his grandson at the Mayor and Council’s table. “This is an incredible crowd. It was good last year it was good but not nearly as much as this year. It has to be more than double the amount from last year.”

  He pointed to his chili pot, “that was filled with chili and now it is empty. I made it with ground beef that was chuck steak and it came out very good I thought. It disappeared.”

  “My chili wasn’t really spicy, it had a little afterbite when you were done with it but not very spicy,” the mayor added.

This marked the first year of participation for Brenda Lauble, the Placement& Career Services Developer at PathStone located at 675 Route 70 Suite 5A in Lakehurst. PathStone presented chili and soup.  “We are new to the area. We were located in Whiting prior, and we’ve been here a little over a year and a half.”

  “We are looking to help people get back to work. We help people 55 and older who are currently unemployed and we do have a sliding income scale for them. We have resume work, we have job searches and we also help them get out to the community for other services that they may not know about,” she added.

  She said PathStone works with The Senior Employment Assistance Program which operates out of the Saint Francis Community Center at 1258 Route 166, Stella Towne Center Toms River. “We refer people to them and they reciprocate. PathStone will pay for training so when we have someone come to us and we go through our application and they are able to apply for us, we would pay them minimum wage and they are paid for their training hours at a minimum of 15 hours per week.”

Lakehurst First Aid Squad members Pat Sinkewitz, left, Steven Oglesby. and Marcy Guyer sit beside the chili pot during this year’s Lakehurst Historical Society Super Bowl-Chili Challenge event. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  PathStone can be reached at 848-227-5456 and you can also e-mail Lauble at

  The LHS itself served up some of their own prize chili as well as a taco soup

  Longtime LHS member Kathy Abrahamsen reported this year’s winners. The winners of the People’s Choice were the Fleet Assocation’s chili and the Arista Cooking club’s soup. Tied for second prize was the Lakehurst and Police Department’s chili while the Judge’s Award went to Lakehurst First Aid Squad for their chili.

Lakehurst Historical Society Vice President George Oglesby joins fellow member Charolette Sheppard. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  For information about future LHS meetings, speakers and the museum, contact the organization at 732-657-8864. The group is seeking more members to help the museum keep the community’s rich local history alive.