Northwest News

Chilly Open to feature music, food for children's charities


The Westerville Sunrise Rotary will host its 17th annual Chilly Open from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2 at the Columbus Zoo.

Formerly the Wendy's Chili Open, the event provides live entertainment and food while raising money for local children's charities, including the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Children's Hunger Alliance, Flying Horse Farms, Mount Carmel St. Ann's, the Ohio Troopers Caring Fund, the Sunrise Rotary Foundation, the Westerville Area Resource Ministry, Buckeye Ranch and Nationwide Children's Hospital.

The Chilly Open is the Westerville Sunrise Rotary's largest annual fundraiser and one of the largest Rotary fundraisers in the country.

In the previous 16 years, the event, which features an outdoor pitch-and-putt golf course for the hardy, has raised nearly $1.9 million.

This year's Chilly Open will feature food from more than 30 local restaurants, including Bel Lago, the Polaris Grill, Bob Evans, Skyline Chili, Buffalo Wild Wings, the Winking Lizard and the Rusty Bucket.

There will be live music provided by The Debits and country-music singer Keith Anderson.

And there will be raffles, silent auctions and live auctions offering pizza for a year, groceries for a year, behind-the-scenes tours of the zoo and a meet-and-greet with Jack Hanna.

The Children's Open will be open during the Chilly Open, providing supervised entertainment and activities for children ages 5 to 12.

The Chilly Open will be hosted by Dom Tiberi of WBNS-10TV and Woody Johnson of WCOL 92.3. It's sponsored by Kroger, Papa John's, WBNS, ThisWeek Community News, The Dispatch, ClearChannel Outdoors and WCOL.

Tickets will be available on the day of the event at the zoo for $40. Discount coupons of $5 are will be available in The Dispatch and from Papa John's. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $35 at

The cost of the tickets includes free admission to the zoo for the day, and children 12 and younger will be admitted for free when accompanying an adult ticketholder.

Parking at the zoo will be $5.

The Chilly Open will be preceded by the Dublin AM Rotary's Polar Bear Golf Open, a nine-hole scramble at the Safari Golf Club that also benefits local children's charities.