By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD
News & Journal Editor
Turkey and/or ham are typically on the Christmas menu … and then there is pork and sauerkraut often top the New Year’s menu. When the holiday have passed and the leftovers are depleted, folks are usually ready for a rest from these foods for a while. The good news is that there is something to look forward to! How about tempting your taste buds with some hot wings?
There is still time to register for the United Way of Harrison County’s 5th annual Hot Wing Eating Contest that is scheduled for Wednesday, January 20th at Buffalo Wild Wings in Bridgeport. Deadline to register is January 15, 2016.
United Way of Harrison County’s Executive Director Marie Battles says that although they will continue to take donations up until the campaign’s end, this will be their final “big push” as far as fundraising efforts go.
“Right now, we are at 86%, but that still leaves us with $117,880 left to raise before this year’s campaign ends. Our 2016 campaign wraps up the end of February, and we are hoping to have met our goal of $842,000 prior to our annual meeting on February 25th,” Marie stated. “We are pretty much on track with where we were last year at this time.”
If you are a hot wings lover, this is the place for you! Since Buffalo Wild Wings donates all the wings devours during the contest, contestants can eat all they can hold during the contest at no cost to them personally! How can you beat that?
“Last year’s contest brought a full house, and I literally mean there was standing room only! Anticipating the same kind of crowd this year, a big screen TV will project the wing eaters so there will be ample opportunity for spectators to watch their favorite contestant no matter how far away they are,” Marie added.
The UW’s Hot Wings contest last year was tremendously successful, raising $36,000! That was largely due to the involvement of Antero Resources and one man who took it on as a personal project, Battles noted. Antero will be involved again this year.
Typically, most of the contestants are men; however there were a couple of women competitors last year. Battles said they would like to see a few more women participate.
There is a $15 registration fee and prizes will be awarded to the contestant who raises the most money as well as the contestant who eats the most wings during the contest’s eight minutes. You must be 18 years or older to participate and contestants are required to sign a waiver. Be in good health, Battles suggests, because the wings are hot and consumption is high. Contestants are permitted to drink just the water provided during the contest.
“Contestants must be amateur eaters only,” Battles stressed. “NO professional eaters – just everyday joes who are up for taking a chance on getting a stomach ache from gorging on hot wings!”
Winners will receive a trophy; however, all contestants are presented a ‘recovery bag’ that includes lip balm, aspirin and antacids, etc.
Complete contest rules and an entry form are on UW’s website at www.unitedwayhcwv.org. There are lots of ways to help the organization meet its goal: register as a contestant; gather sponsors to donate to the contestant’s participation; or just come out that evening to watch the competition and have dinner while you’re there.
If you’re running behind and still trying to finish up your Christmas shopping, remember to stop by the United Way Gift Wrapping Station at the Meadowbrook Mall. It will be open until 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve. This fundraiser, too, helps toward the United Way meeting its goal. Last year, the gift wrap station raised over $9,000!
LIVE UNITED … and remember that donations assist with needed funding to support the United Way of Harrison County’s 21 agencies and 33 programs.