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Chowdah Fest



Over the past seven years, Imagine Festivals has hosted the annual Chowdah-Fest at Columbia Yacht Club. Besides being a wonderful opportunity to sample varieties of the best chowder in the city, and for people to discover the delightful ambiance of the yacht club, it is the biggest and most important fundraiser of the year for our Sea Scout Ship.

Columbia sponsors Sea Scout Ship Challenge #5111, one of the most successful and visible Ships in the Chicago area. Through donations from fundraisers such as this, we are able to provide these teenage women and men with valuable experiences they would not otherwise have. Our latest was a trip to Sea Base in the Florida Keys for an 8-day SCUBA and sailing live-aboard adventure. The funds raised at Chowdah Fest allowed us to subsidize two-thirds of the $12,000 cost of the tuition.

James Bruno Lago is one of the Ship’s adult leaders, and, with his Imagine Festivals partner Jeff Reid, they invite chefs from the best restaurants in the Chicago area for an evening of great food, wine, beer and deserts. The modest donation is more than worth the price of admission, with patrons, donors and chefs returning year after year.