The Chili Chowder Festival at the Music Pier raises thousands of dollars for charitable causes. From left, Firefighters Kevin Muller and Bob Bender, Jane Davis of Johnny B Goode Ice Cream Parlor, Fire Chief Jim Smith, Firefighter Jason Boyle and Bill McGinnity of Cousin’s Restaurant. (Courtesy Ocean City Restaurant Association) The Ocean City Restaurant Association (OCRA) raised $3,000 through ticket sales and donations during its third annual Chili Chowder Festival on Oct. 14 at the Music Pier.Since launching the Chili Chowder Festival three years ago, the OCRA has raised a total of $10,500 to benefit local charities, including the Humane Society of Ocean City and the Ocean City Firefighters Foundation run by Local 4032 of the International Association of Firefighters union. The event features steaming cups of chili and chowders from restaurants all over Ocean City dished out to hundreds of hungry patrons.With a DJ playing music, balloon animals and face painting for the children, tables lined with hot chilis and chowders and a fun atmosphere, it was, once again, a festive fall scene on the Ocean City Boardwalk.Families lined up for tastings from Ocean City restaurants including Cousins Restaurant, Island Grill, Bennie’s Bread, Clancy’s, Jon and Patty’s, Arlene’s, Randazzo’s, Soma Café, Yianni’s Cafe and Starfish Cafe. Hot Dogs for the children and water bottles were provided by fellow OCRA members Blitz’s Markets and Johnny B Goode Ice Cream Parlors. Festival-goers sample different types of chilis and chowders at the October event.Firefighter Steve Peifer defended his title as the winner of last year’s Chili Cook Off between the three fire stations in Ocean City. This year, the title went to firefighter Jason Boyle representing Station 1. “We are grateful for the support of the OCRA membership as well as the community who came to support OCFD’s Charitable Foundation,” said Jane Davis, treasurer of the Restaurant Association and owner of Johnny B Goode Ice Cream Parlors. This year’s beneficiary – the Ocean City Firefighters Foundation – is a local organization that is supported by direct donations throughout the year such as this one given by OCRA.Money raised supports scholarships and rewards that are distributed locally to Ocean City High School, Intermediate and Primary school students, the Junior Miss Ocean City Pageant, Ocean City Humane Society, Waves for Caring and many other recipients. For more information on the Foundation, visit www.oceancityfirefighters.com.For more information visit www.EatinOCNJ.com or email [email protected] and Michael Baccala, of Ocean City, and their daughters, Katie (left) and Nina, both 13, enjoy chili at the Chili Chowder Festival.