Stage nearly set for June 19 Best In Paradise event at Lombardi Club

By Reggie Roberson

It sometimes takes a village! Most of the details are set, but there are a few more openings for teams. The Fifth Annual Best In Paradise event needs a few more cheeseburger and margarita teams, and the table will be set. To register a team and find the rules, go to

The first-place cheeseburger team will win $500 and the first-place margarita team will win $250. The cost to enter is $100 for a cheeseburger team and $50 for a margarita team. Once you go to the Web site, you can pay your fee right there on PayPal.

Included in the fun is a Best In Show Award and a People’s Choice Award for both categories. New this year, the public will be able to purchase samples of all the teams’ burgers for 50 cents a sample. That was our biggest complaint from attendees in the past, and it is now fixed.

The judges are all set for 2010, with margarita judging being done by Georgette Braun, Brizz from 96.7 the Eagle, Sarah Slavenas from the Northern Illinois Food Bank, and Andy B from the Lombardi Club. The 2010 burger judges will be Rich from Backyard Grill & Bar, Aaron Wilson and Mark Henderson from WIFR News 23, and Jason Dawbin from the Rockford IceHogs.

Speaking of The Backyard Grill & Bar, they have jumped in as the stage host for 2010. They will provide some great “extras” to the event, and we welcome their participation. Other great sponsors include Crazy Times, Brew Haus, Komax, OSF, State Sen. Dave Syverson, Neighbor’s Bar, Dental Dimensions, CAMM Music, Hanlin Automotive, The White Eagle Club, John’s Pizza, Thor Advertising, Kryptonite Bar, Countryside Meats and Blackhawk Bank.

Of course, our main sponsors are WIFR News 23, Pepsi, Land Shark Beer, Bud, Margaritaville Tequila and Rum, and 96.7 the Eagle. Raffle prizes are also rolling in, and the attendees are always amazed at the items available.

Best In Paradise will be from 3 to 10:30 p.m., June 19, at the Lombardi Club. The event benefits the Northern Illinois Food Bank, recently named 2010 Member Food Bank of the Year by Feeding America. Of course, Pirates Over 40 will be live on stage, as well as another band from 3 to 5 p.m., provided by Kryptonite Bar.

What’s not to like about a great party for a great purpose? There are many of our neighbors who need our help, and we can’t think of a more fun way to help. We look forward to seeing all of you at the Lombardi Club from 3 to 10:30 p.m., June 19. For information, call (815) 312-0281 or e-mail at

From the June 2-8, 2010 issue

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