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Jan 31, 2017 3:58 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Clamshell Foundation Cancels Great Bonac Chili Cook-Off

Two participants enjoying chili at a previous Great Bonac Chili Cook-Off, which will not be held this year by The Clamshell Foundation. KYRIL BROMLEY
Jan 31, 2017 5:07 PM

This year, there will be no Great Bonac Chili Cook-Off, a popular event traditionally held in January at the American Legion by the Clamshell Foundation.

The foundation is in the process of regrouping after the death of founder Rossetti Perchik last May. According to Billy Kalbacher, Clamshell’s chief operating officer as well as a friend and business partner of Mr. Perchik, the foundation has no plans to hold the cook-off this year. Mr. Kalbacher said that taking over the late Mr. Perchik’s duties—raising money for programs and bringing in members to help—has become “so overwhelming.”

Clamshell’s next events will be in the summertime, with the annual Great Bonac Fireworks Show occurring in July and the Sandcastle Contest in August. Mr. Kalbacher said that he plans to start fundraising for the fireworks show on February 1 and that he will ask the East Hampton Town Board for continued support. Mr. Kalbacher is looking for $60,000 by June 1 to fund the fireworks and continue to support the programs the foundation sponsors.

“Clamshell is in its 26th year. Before now, we ran our foundation solely through the Sandcastle Contest,” Mr. Kalbacher said of the event held each summer in Amagansett. “We raised enough money with that because it didn’t cost us really any money to do all of our programs.

“What happened was when we took over the fireworks show, it sort of sucked us dry in the idea that the people were going to be generous,” he continued. “What I think happened is the people think these events are just put on by the Tony Dukes of the world. People think that there are enough rich people in the Hamptons to pay the $100 or $50 to help us.”

Despite this hardship, Mr. Kalbacher said that Clamshell will go on “by the grace of God and Rossetti upstairs.”

Those interested in donating or volunteering with Clamshell can go to clamshellfoundation.org.

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