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Back Country Horsemen plan fourth annual raffle and chili cook-off

"The Island County Chapter of Back Country Horsemen is hosting the fourth annual Russell Maugens Raffle Ride and Chili Cook-Off with a treasure hunt on Saturday, Sept. 23 at Edgewood Farm, 2936 E. Keller Road, Langley.The event begins at 9 a.m. with the first riders/walkers out; the last riders/walkers begin at 11 a.m. The treasure hunt will also take place at 11 a.m., followed by the Chili Cook-Off at 1 p.m. and the raffle at 1:30. Lots of great prizes are promised. A $5 entry fee to ride or walk entitles you to five raffle tickets. Additional tickets may be purchased for $1 each. The Chili Cook-Off entry fee is $10, with 50 percent of the entry pot split between the winners of the official judging and the People's Choice. Prizes will also be given for the best-named chili. A $1 donation will be charged for those who want to taste the chilis.For safety purposes, no dogs or bicycles are allowed.The event is held in memory of the late Russell Maugens, who was one of the oldest, most experienced, and certainly best loved members of Back Country Horsemen.Maugens ran away from his family's small Kentucky farm to the racetrack in Lexington at age 15. As a stable boy, he was in charge of giving the Thoroughbreds galloping workouts every morning. After college, Maugens joined the World War II effort in both the Royal Canadian Air Force and the United States Army Air Corps. He was one of the B-26 bomber pilots who hastened the end of the war. Maugens then became a pilot for American Airlines and later Eastern Airlines, where he retired 30 years later.At 60 he became a blacksmith and built his own forge. At first, one of his more common products was horseshoes. Later he made decorative architectural iron. Some of his finest work is part of the Timberline Lodge at Mount Hood in Oregon. He also began developing a system of riding trails, many of which are still in use today.Back Country Horsemen is a nonprofit organization. Proceeds of the Raffle Ride will be used to further education of Leave No Trace land management and to support efforts that keep lands open for use by equestrians, hikers, and bicycle riders.For more details, call 321-5631. "

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