Soroptimist Candy Adragna (left) embraces special guest Mary D’amico, who was released from Arizona’s foster care system in 2016, and underwent mentorship from the Soroptimist Club last summer.

The Soroptimist of Lake Havasu City are introducing a new annual fundraiser to help the women and girls of Lake Havasu.

Replacing their Home and Garden Tour fundraiser, which had to be canceled due to covid-19, the nonprofit organization will instead hold Southwest Chowderfest on March 5 at the Havasu 95 Speedway at SARA Park.

Over 30 restaurants will compete in chowder competition with each establishment putting its own spin on the classic New England dish.

“With chowder there are many different spin offs” Tina Stocking, Soroptimist fundraiser chair, said. “You could do a fiesta chowder, you could do an Italian chowder, and we are even having Lin’s Chinese Food competing and they are going to do a soupy chowder with something they have on their menu.”

On top of the chowder competition, Chowderfest will also have more than 20 breweries, wineries and distilleries on site serving drinks. There will also be live music from local bands, coffee and tea bars and a kids zone to make the festival friendly to all.

Stocking says that she came up with the idea for the new fundraiser when she was visiting family back on the east coast.

“Saratoga, New York, has Chowderfest every year and they get 40,000 attendees in the freezing snow,” Stocking said. “We thought we could bring it out west and have some fun with it.”

Chowderfest now is the big event that Soroptimist of Lake Havasu City will rely on to fund its philanthropic efforts such as providing scholarships to local women.

General admission for the event cost $20 but children 12 and under can get in free. VIP tickets cost $50 and allow participants access to a VIP tent, drinks, appetizers and early access to the event. Tickets can be purchased at Desert Rose, Expressions Lighting, Horizon Community Bank, Keller Williams Arizona Realty, Michael Alan Furniture & Design, and Oasis Floors or online at


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