- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—WARRENSBURG — Groups received a boost Thursday at Mazzio’s Italian Eatery, 204 E. Young St.

The restaurant hosted a wing-eating challenge, with proceeds benefiting Youth Excited about Sports, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Survival House.

Competitors included Stormy Taylor, Big Brothers Big Sisters; Greg Hassler, University of Central Missouri athletics broadcaster, 98.5 KWKJ-FM; Dave Slifer, UCM Jennies basketball coach; Mike Flores, former NFL player; Casey Lund, Chamber of Commerce; O.J. Rhone, Y.E.S.; Brian Claussen, First Baptist Church pastor; and Chuck Clemens, UCM assistant football coach.

Before the contest Hassler introduced each competitor in a ficticious way, similar to the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest held annually July 4 at Coney Island, New York,

Hassler announced Slifer as, “the Rocky Balboa of competitive eating.

“After reaching the highest level in MLE by eating seven-and-a-half pizza slices in 15 minutes and 12 corn dogs in 10 minutes, he retired from the sport he loves,” Hassler continued. “Tonight he makes what he hopes is a comeback for the ages. Speed is not his game, but tonight he looks to turn the tables. Ladies and gentleman, Dave “the Locust” Slifer.”

During the devouring of greasy hot wings, UCM Marketing and Promotions Director Bob Jackson, called the action.

The event also featured tunes played over speakers, including Johnny B. Goode by Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Chuck Berry.

When the dust settled, Hassler came out on top, receiving free wings from Mazzio’s for a year.

Mazzio’s General Manager David Young said giving back to the community is important.

Young said proceeds were also raised through a raffle and 15 percent of the event’s total profit benefited the groups.

“We found a way now, I think, that we can help raise funds in our community with our wing challenges,” he said.

He said the first wing challenge was a fun way to showcase members from a particular organization and help that organization raise awareness for their fundraiser.

Young said watching dignitaries donate their time and effort for an important cause made the event rewarding.

He said Mazzio’s Area Director Mark Himmelberg worked hard in the kitchen to make sure the event ran steady.

“If he had not of been back there it probably would have been a nightmare for me,” he said. “He made the kitchen go, so that helped.”

(*NOTE: View additional photos online at www.DSJNow.com.)


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