Organization Still Strives To Meet Goal In The Final Two Weeks Of Campaign

By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD

News & Journal Editor

Pictured above are some of the Hot Wings contestants who participated in the ‘heated’ competition to raise funding for the United Way of Harrison County last week.

Those who participated in last Wednesday evening’s Hot Wings Eating Contest hosted at Buffalo Wild Wings in Bridgeport to support the United Way of Harrison County have now had time to recover!  The ‘heated’ competition made for a very spicy evening that included 45 contestants eating with their fingers and getting a little sloppy-faced, but it was done for a worthwhile cause.


 

From start to finish, the contest lasts about an hour and a half, and it is somewhat hard to believe that 45 people in that short period of time can raise so much money!  But it’s true … this is a great contributor to the United Way’s campaign every year.  This year, the Hot Wings Eating Contest raised $74,000!  No doubt, the kitchen staff was busy that evening!!!

Trophies were awarded to the female eating the most wings in eight minutes (Loraina Lafferty with Antero Resources, who consumed 26 hot wings); the male eating the most wings in eight minutes (a tie between Tyler Adams and Jim Wilson, both with Antero Resources, who each ate 40 wings); the contestant who raised the most money (Loraina Lafferty who raised $14,300); and in the friendly ‘Dealership Division’, Paul Jones of Harry Green Chevrolet ate 38 wings in eight minutes.

While the $74,000 that was raised that evening is a great addition to helping the United Way of Harrison County meet its goal for the coming year, they are not quite there yet.  Fundraising will continue until February 28th.

Tina Yoke, Executive Director of the United Way of Harrison County, said, “Our goal this year is to reach $935,000.  This is a 10% increase from last year and that increase was made simply because the needs of our 25 agencies are greater.  Now, after the Wings Contest, we are at 76% of that goal, so we need to really strive in the remaining time to get more donations or our agencies will go without their full funding.”

Brad Riffee, Community Impact Director for United Way of Harrison County, added, “This is one non-profit organization that people can donate to where every cent of the contributions collected remain locally.  Our agencies depend upon us and the success of our fundraising campaign, so we remain cautiously optimistic that we can still reach our goal.  We hope that the folks in Harrison County – individuals, businesses and corporations – will help us to push hard during the last two remaining weeks.”

If you haven’t yet made a donation, it may help to know what a difference your donation can make.  For example, $56 will help someone acquire their high school equivalency.  A $100 donation can provide 15 hot meals for homebound senior citizens.

Riffee added, “We are a very community-driven organization, and each time we reach our goal, it is because of the generosity of the donors from our own local communities.  We try to make contributing as easy as possible.  Anyone interested in make a donation can call our office at 304-624-6337; or they can donate via our website by visiting www.unitedwayhcwv.org.  We do accept credit cards or they can mail us a check.  And some may not be aware that even if they can’t pay now, they can make a pledge and very flexible payment plans can be set up over the coming months.  We also invite those with questions to call our office and we’ll be happy to explain how donations are allocated.”

The United Way of Harrison County offers special thanks to David Patsy and his team (Al Schopp and Brian Kuhn) of Antero Resources for their hard work in spearheading the event, and to Jason Mike with Buffalo Wild Wings.  Appreciation was also extended for contributions and participation from United Health Foundation, Civil & Environmental Consultants, The Thrasher Group, Harry Green Chevrolet-Nissan, Jenkins Subaru-Hyundai, Leeson Import Motors, Dan Cava Toyota World, RG Motorsports, Chenoweth Ford, Audi Volkswagen Clarksburg, NCWV Media, WBOY and WDTV.

“We are truly so grateful to everyone who has supported our efforts to fund the local agencies that help those in our immediate area, and EVERY donation – both large and small – is appreciated.  Two weeks remain to accept contributions and we hope those who have not yet done so will consider supporting us NOW.  This funding is very crucial to our agencies who assist families in the immediate area and help to strengthen our communities,” Riffee concluded.