What do you get when you cross a Florida news team with an area Buffalo Wings & Rings during a Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign fundraiser? Well, a wing-eating contest, of course.
This past holiday season, the Salvation Army in Southwestern Florida was granted matching funds from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation. For every dollar donated to the Salvation Army, the Schulze Foundation matched that dollar up to $200,000. The campaign ran for ten days, culminating on Christmas Eve.
To help them reach their goal, Fort Myers Fox 4 news team members Kathryn Marsh and Jillian Hartman went on location to participating area businesses in order to drum up excitement and energy for the campaign. The Salvation Army chose the local Buffalo Wings & Rings as the site of their final match push.
"A Wing & A Prayer" Contest
On December 18, Marsh, Hartman, and 11 other participants from the community put on their plastic bibs and happily took on the challenge to eat 20 wings in ten minutes as part of a Facebook live event that the Salvation Army called "A Wing & A Prayer." Restaurant-goers and passersby were encouraged to donate to the Red Kettle Campaign via a kettle and volunteer posted outside the restaurant.
A local Iona/McGregor fire station firefighter named "T-mac" won the competition, taking home a trophy and other prizes, while the Salvation Army was also a winner — crushing their $200,000 goal.
Marsh and Hartman were also on hand earlier in December at a Lake Michigan Credit Union in Fort Myers. The credit union was also matching donations dollar-for-dollar up to $1,000 for the Salvation Army's campaign.
Spreading the Buffalove
One of the missions of Buffalo Wings & Rings is to volunteer their time and resources to help spread the Buffalove in their communities whenever possible.
Although the Salvation Army works year-round to combat hunger and homelessness, the Red Kettle Campaign is the single biggest campaign that the Salvation Army has all year. Every cent donated stays in the area in which it was collected and meets the needs of some 25 million Americans every year. The charity wants everyone to know that no donation is too small and if you can't give monetarily, you can always volunteer to ring the bell.