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Legion’s Annual Redneck O-limp-ics to benefit veterans

By Staff | May 21, 2019

The community is invited out for a day of fun and wacky activities – all to aid a great cause.

The American Legion Post 123 on Sanibel will host its 11th Annual Redneck O-limp-ics on May 26 from noon to 8 p.m. Free and open to the public, it will feature games and contests, with food and drink sales to benefit veterans. Organizer Jim Gillis explained that the idea for it came from another event.

“We were just looking for something to do to make some money,” he said of when they learned of another mud-based event. “We kind of adapted it, since we can’t do mud racing and wrestling.”

“We just changed all the games and made them up as we went,” Gillis added.

Is it the legion’s biggest fundraiser heading into the off-season.

“It’s something for everyone to do and have fun,” he said. “All the funds go toward veterans.”

Gillis estimated that 150 to 200 people stopped by last year, with about $1,500 to $2,000 raised.

As for the featured activities, they have evolved over the years.

“We run the events all day,” he said.

There is a beer can toss, tire toss, beer belly contest and nail driving – using a hammer.

“Which is kind of a lost art,” Gillis said.

“Also, beer can crushing,” he added. “Some people just crush it between their hands, some people crush it on their forehead.”

Other activities are a beer can obstacle course and belching competition.

“We’ve had a reigning champ every year for 10 years,” Gillis said of the belching event. “She’s good.”

People can enter contests like the dirtiest work truck, dirtiest sneaker and rustiest tool.

“You just bring in your rustiest tool,” he said.

A cornhole tournament and watermelon bowling contest will both start at 1 p.m.

“We bowl watermelons and use two-liter pop bottles as pins,” Gillis said.

There is even a lizard catch-and-release competition.

“Which is, basically, a fun thing for the kids to do,” he said.

A beer chugging contest tends to be a highlight of the day’s scheduled activities.

“This is the guys’ favorite,” Gillis said. “Somehow that always seems to tie, so we always have to do it twice.”

Gold, silver and bronze painted beer cans will be handed out as trophies to the winners.

“We give out very intricately designed beer cans,” he said. “It says Redneck O-limp-ics 2019.”

The menu for the day will feature burgers, hot dogs, barbecue ribs and barbecue chicken.

“We’re a full liquor bar, and we have all kinds of beer, soda and tea,” Gillis said.

Residents and visitors are welcome to come out for what is sure to be an entertaining day.

“It’s just plain old fun,” he said. “It’s not a serious thing. It’s just fun.”

For more information, call 239-472-9979.

The American Legion Post 123 is at 4929 Sanibel-Captiva Road.