Sold-out crowd packs Legion Br. 157 for second annual “Wingfest”

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Wingfest1 Wingfest3A sold-out crowd of 250 people packed Legion Br. 157 Saturday night for the second annual “Wingfest” fundraiser.

Organized by Kevan Carroll and Jeff Turner, the “Wingfest” fundraiser will see its proceeds be donated to local charities within the Amherstburg community.

“This is better than last year,” said Carroll, noting it is the start to Legion Week this year.

Carroll hoped the crowd was an indication they were on track to their goal of $5,000. He said there are some organizations in mind to donate to as well as a family dealing with a critical illness.

“It’s gratifying that we are going to be close to $5,000 that is going to donated back into the community,” said Carroll.

This year’s “Wingfest” saw 80 more tickets sold than last year with ideas for future expansion of the event being to possibly close off Dalhousie St. and sell more tickets outside.

“Hopefully this is something the town can grow on,” said Carroll.

While Carroll is credited for being the originator behind the event, he gave credit to Turner for helping bring it to fruition as well as the over 30 volunteers for their support.

“Without Jeff Turner, I wouldn’t have done this,” he said. “Without all the volunteers, I couldn’t do this. My family supported me and that keeps me going.”

Both Carroll and Turner were adamant about keeping everything in Amherstburg, from making donations to purchasing supplies.

“We’re keeping everything in Amherstburg,” said Carroll.

“Everything about the event is about the community of Amherstburg,” added Turner. “There’s an awesome sense of community awareness and community spirit from all of these people.”

Turner said they were very excited about the crowd that turned out and they were pleased that people had a good time.

“We wish to thank everyone for their support and generosity,” said Turner.

Turner also noted the 30-plus volunteers and the roughly 35 sponsors that assisted in putting on the event. It was the wings, though, that also provided incentive for people to purchase tickets.

“The wings are a good thing. Everyone likes them,” he said.

For the second straight year, Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 were crowned the winners and they will have a banner to display at the Legion to demonstrate that fact. People received a ballot and picked whichever wings they liked best as servers gave each person a wing from the eight establishments that entered. The wings were numbered 1-8 and people made their selection based on whichever number they liked best as the identity of the wing makers was kept secret until after the voting.

“People want to be voted the best wings in Amherstburg,” said Turner. “It’s good for business. They’ve got bragging rights for the next year.”

The Amherstburg Knights of Columbus received second place while Artisan Grill and Shooters tied for third place. Other entrants included TMG Grill, Meadows by the Lake, Naples Pizza, and Lord Amherst. Each restaurant donated 50 pounds of wings for the occasion.

Servers for the evening included Legion Br. 157 president Dennis Purdie, Essex MPP Taras Natyshak, Councillor Bart DiPasquale, Alex Dale from Fort Malden National Historic Site, Mayor Wayne Hurst, Councillor Carolyn Davies, Re/Max realtor Brad Bondy, and John MacLeod, an officer with the #202 Fort Malden Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps.

Merv Richards won the barbecue that was donated by Canadian Tire but donated it back to the Legion so they could have another fundraising draw for it. The band British Beat 66 capped off the evening’s festivities.

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