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Lawn mower tug-of-war, wing eating contest to help Goodwill

By Staff | Sep 11, 2009

If you think you can eat the most hot wings in 8 minutes or you have a souped-up lawn mower ready to roll, you can be a contestant in an upcoming event to benefit Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida.
Hogbody’s Bar & Grill in North Fort Myers will hold the Second Annual Wing Eating Contest and Lawn Mower Tug-of-war Competition on Sept. 19. The fun starts at 5 p.m. and lasts until 9 p.m. in the parking lot, located at 10440 Bayshore Road.
Goodwill representatives will be on hand to collect donations of gently used clothing and household items, and contestants will line up for the contests.
“The event was so much fun last year we really wanted to do it again,” said Hogbody’s owner and general manager Theresa Raker. “It’s as much fun watching as it is to participate in the actual contests. Everyone is cheering on their favorite person.”
“They do so much for the community, people don’t realize it,” she said of Goodwill. “They don’t just do the clothing centers — they do a lot more to help people get on their feet.”
“We will be raising awareness about the local stores and the need for donations to increase revenue to enable us to continue to provide service clients need and continue to support the mission of Goodwill,” said Goodwill Vice President of Retail and Operations Jennifer Swift. “Also, this event will be fun for the community.”
“Goodwill is always looking for different venues for donations, other than the stores and donor centers, and Hogbody’s is certainly a place we can partner with,” said Laura Alford, director of Donor Development. “Money raised goes to support our mission, which is building lives, families and communities one job at a time.”
Raker said that in the wing eating contest, the chicken wings are hot but not “XXX.”
Hogbody’s is known for its wings and offers 55 varieties — everything from sweet bourbon to Jamaican jerk to Florida orange and Key West, along with the traditional flavors.
Last year, the wing eating contest had 20 contestants. Raker said she hopes to see even more this year.
Competitors will have 8 minutes to see how much they can eat.
“We do it by total weight consumed, so we don’t need to have everyone compete all at once,” she said.
Donors will receive a drink ticket in exchange for their donation to Goodwill.
Hogbody’s will also feature food and drink specials during the event.
Hogbody’s server Meagan Fox said she is looking forward to the event along with a lot of customers.
“Customers are talking about it,” Fox said.
The entry fee for the wing eating contest is $20, and all competitors will receive a T-shirt. The first place winner will earn $100.
After the success of the 2008 event, Raker and the Hogbody’s crew decided to add the lawn mower tug-of-war to the mix. There is no entry fee for the tug-of-war, which will also be held in the parking lot.
“It’s very popular right now,” Raker said of the sport.
Sponsorships are also still available — from a $50 “Piglet Sponsor” to a $250 “Hog Sponsor.”
Look online to see another fun Goodwill event still in progress: the Thriftiest Shopper Contest. Videos are now online for the four finalists who were taped after a competition in July.
People are invited to vote for their favorite thrifty shoppers. Vote online at: goodwillswfl.org or visit any Goodwill store.
Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida operates 24 thrift stores throughout the area.
Donations of clothing and household items are resold to support programs for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment, including Job-Link career services, affordable housing, the Four Wheels for Work vehicle assistance program, the L.I.F.E. Academy charter school, and other programs and services.
For information on Goodwill Industries, call 995-2106.
For information on the event, call Hogbody’s at 543-8800.