"AROUND SUNOL" by BREE K. JAMES


October 21, 2002

THE GREAT SUNOL BED RACE AND CHILI COOK-OFF on Oct. 6 was one big ol' day of fun put on by the Sunol Business Guild. Guild Vice President Dimitri Kastriotis chaired the event, organizing committees, overseeing set-up, cooking, food and beverage sales and more. Sifu Vargas, Business Guild Public Relations Officer and chili booth coordinator, brought in 18 great competitors, and did a bang-up job publicizing the event.

Brandt Weibezahn of Fourte Design and Development served as bed race coordinator. Brandt's company built and donated four beds for Sunol Glen students in the new Junior Division races. Sandi Bohner of Little Valley Vineyards secured the day's Zydeco music by Tom Rigney and Flambeau, and Joan Hall chaired the children's area, which included games, pony rides, face painting and more. Andrew Turnbull was a fantastic Master of Ceremonies, and Joan Hoxie put together the Beverly Zimmermann Memorial Pet Parade, named for Joan's dearest friend. Wayne Zimmermann gave a moving tribute to his late wife.

Beverly's dog Willow served as Grand Marshal for the Pet Parade, which was sponsored by Happiness Kennels, Little Valley Vineyard, Lourd's Ice Cream, and the Sunol Wilderness Equestrian Center. The 28 participating pets and their owners received goodie bags, ribbons, and photos. Judge Janet Schott of Livermore had her work cut out for her, especially since the entrees spanned the animal kingdom from snakes to, well, humans.

That's right, I said humans. Janet awarded an honorary mention to four imaginative Sunol Boy Scouts who showed up with one of their number tied to a mover's dolly pushed by the other three. Way to go, Scouts…I think. In the Best Costume contest, the winners were: first, Benjamin Miller and his goat; second, Laura Kelly and her dog; and third, Sammy Edwards and her mule. Most Unusual Pet winners were: first, Maria Behm and her guinea pig; second, Lenny Alexander and his Mexican king snake; and third, Garrett Glass and his sleepy rabbit.

Pet-Owner Look-alike winners were all paired with pooches: first, Ali Roden; second, Joe Thereault; and third, Jessica Christian with Grand Marshal Willow. The winners received cash awards and pet products.

The bed races were exciting and entertaining as always. In the Adult Division, the winners were: First, Berge-Pappas-Smith Chapel of the Angels of Fremont, with Troy Ermish, Chris Garrett, John Gilbertson and Stephanie Wells; second, Fourte Design and Development of Sunol, with Ron and Erin Fajardo, Gioni Bianchin, Manfred Schned, and Jeff Haddock; third, B.A. Morrison of Castro Valley, sponsored by Brian Morrison, with Larry Orta, Chris and Anthony Nusom, Randy Walker and Mike Dupuis. Scroggins Construction of Sunol, led by owner Dale Scroggins, won Best Decorated Bed.

The Junior Division winners, all Sunol Glen students, were: First, Student Council Shooting Stars, with Jamie Thurman, Tim Xenakis, Kaylee Ballstadt, Rick Cook and Frank Imhof; second, Eighth Grade Sleepy Heads, with Sarae Van Dyke, Katie Surles, Mike Carter, David Ingebretsen and Kevin Foley; third, Eighth Grade Crazy Train with Galen Willett, Fauna Vargas, Sarah Gray, Calvin Kuntze and Josh Whitfield.

Chili Cook-off judges were State Senator Liz Figueroa, Pleasanton Mayor Tom Pico, Alameda County Supervisors Gail Steele and Scott Haggerty, Fremont Councilman Steve Cho, fourth generation Californian Bernie Leal, and businessman George Beardsley. Cathy Lyn Harrison helped judge the best-decorated bed and chili booth.

San Jose chili team "Southern Discomfort," captured both the People's Choice award and the judges' third place vote. The team, headed by chef Mark Nelson, took home two $100 cash awards and a plaque. The judges' award for best chili - a trophy and $300 - went to the Little Brown Church of Sunol's "Holy Cows," with head chef John Robertson. Second prize of a plaque and $200 went to Essanay Silent Film Museum of Niles, with head chef Dorothy Bradley.

The plaque for best-decorated booth was won by Rowell Ranch Rodeo for their Wild West chuck wagon with all the trimmings, a bucking bull ride, and costumes to match. And everyone was happy to see recent Foothill grad and Sunol Glen grad Ryan Lesher win the grand prize drawing for $750, donated by Bosco's Bones & Brew. Congratulations to all!

The Sunol Business Guild meets the second Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at Little Valley Vineyard's bistro on Main Street in Sunol. All are welcome.

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