BRIDGEPORT — Buffalo Wild Wings was packed to capacity Wednesday evening for the United Way of Harrison County’s annual Hot Wing Eating Contest.
The contest, which featured 45 competitors representing dozens of local companies and entities, raised more than $73,000 for the United Way’s annual fundraising campaign.
Contestants, who were divided into four heats, were given eight minutes to consume as many spicy, piping-hot wings as possible.
With wing sauce flying though the air and sweat dripping from their brows, the contestants pushed themselves to their limits as they attempted to beat the competition.
Jim Wilson and Tyler Adams, both employees of Antero Resources, tied for the evening’s record. Both managed to devour 40 hot wings within the time limit.
Wilson, the contest’s reigning champion, said he has won for the last four years and is proud to be a United Way supporter.
“Antero does a lot of business in the community here, and we like to give back to the community we impact,” he said.
James Swiger, with the Clarksburg architecture firm WYK Associates, said has been involved with the contest since its inception and always looks forward to annual event.
“The United Way supports so many agencies, and I’m a past campaign chair,” he said. “It’s always a fun event, and it’s really grown. There’s a lot of team spirit here because you have a lot of the companies here cheering for each other. It’s for a good cause, and its a great way to kind of wrap up the United Way campaign,”
Brad Riffee, United Way’s community impact director, said the contest is the organization’s largest fundraising event of the year.
“This fundraiser is very important to us,” he said. “We fund 25 nonprofits in Harrison County, and in order to make sure they get the funding that they need in 2019, we have to reach our goal of $935,000. We want to make sure that they are able to provide the full services that members of our community rely on.”
Wednesday’s event was made possible thanks to the efforts of David Patsy of Antero Resources, according to Riffee.
“He helps to spearhead the event and really helps to drive in big donations,” Riffee said. “Without his support, I’m not sure this event would be where it’s at.”
Antero has chosen to get behind the annual event because of the far-reaching impact that United Way has throughout Harrison County, Patsy said.
“The United Way is such a great agency. It’s like an umbrella for the community,” he said. “It involves so many different agencies and touches so many lives. It’s a great way for us to be able to have the same effect and reach out and touch so many lives in the community by supporting the United Way and supporting this competition.”
Before the contest even started, Patsy said he was confident the Antero team would be victorious.
“I’m predicting a straight sweep,” he said. “The Patriots and Tom Brady don’t have nothing on us.”
Officials contest results:
Most wings eaten, men’s division — Wilson and Adams of Antero, 40 wings each
Most wings eaten, women’s division — Loraina Lafferty of Antero, 26 wings
Most wings eaten, dealership division — Paul Jones, 38 wings
Most money raised — Loraina Lafferty, $14,300
Riffee also expressed thanks to Antero Resources Chief Administration Officer and Treasurer Al Schopp, along with Civil & Environmental Consultants Inc. The Thrasher Group, United Health Foundation, Harry Green Chevrolet Nissan, Jenkins Subaru, Leeson’s Import Motors, Dan Cava Toyota World, RG Motorsports, Chenoweth Ford, NCWV Media and Buffalo Wild Wings.
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