Hot wings, big hearts bring community together

9 months 1 week 5 days ago Thursday, October 05 2017 Oct 5, 2017 Thursday, October 05, 2017 7:15:00 AM CDT October 05, 2017 in News
By: Kristen Reesor, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - All-you-can-eat wings, friendly competition and a fun night with community members created a recipe for success at the 21st annual Jefferson City Wing Ding.

This year's dinner and wing tasting competition happened Wednesday. For $20 in advance or $25 at the door, each of the around 600 guests ate as many chicken wing varieties as they could handle.

Proceeds from the fundraiser went toward the Gibbs Center for Independence, a day habilitation center for people with developmental disabilities.

The Wing Ding winners include a judges' favorite in three categories (dry rub, sauced and specialty) and a people's choice. 

Gibbs Center Director Sarah Judd said, "The competition gets pretty stiff, so there's a little bit of, maybe, smack talk going on."

She said competitors are sometimes secretive about which recipe they bring and try creating new recipes to win the recognition and bragging rights that go with the title of best wing.

A teriyaki wing recipe from Champ's Chicken won the people's choice award the past two years, so workers decided to bring it again.

Still, employee Amanda Wagner said, "We might switch it up next year; we're always trying new flavors."

A few years ago, a pair of judges came prepared for hot wings by bringing chocolate milk, which helps soothe the mouth after eating very spicy foods. Judd said the other judges teased them, but began asking for some milk of their own after about six wings.

The Wing Ding has dropped its "hottest wing" category, but that doesn't stop competitors from submitting wings doused in hot sauce.

"I just got one that was so hot, that my nose is running and my eyes are running and I feel like my tongue is on fire," said judge and daughter of the center's founders Tami Turner.

Fifteen restaurants supplied wings for the Wing Ding, compared to 11 last year. The competitors consisted of local businesses joining for the first time, like The Blue Skillet and West Main Pizza, and businesses that have supported the Wing Ding for years, like Hy-Vee and Twin Bridges Bar and Grill. Even convenience stores and retirement communities competed.

"It just speaks volumes to what the community can do," Said Sandy Kliegel from Primrose Retirement. "It's cool to see all the businesses come together to support an event in town."

A greater number of competitors isn't the only proof of how the event has grown since it began more than two decades ago. The first Jefferson City Wing Ding was on a parking garage rooftop, so people had to brave the elements while they ate.

Judd said the Wing Ding quickly outgrew that, so it moved to the Jefferson City Jaycee Fairgrounds before finally choosing The Millbottom last year. This year's Wing Ding was scheduled to be at The Millbottom, but the location was changed to the fairgrounds due to predicted storms.

The location of the Wing Ding may have changed over the years, but its support for the Gibbs Center has remained. Aside from the Wing Ding's goal of raising money, it is also an opportunity for people to meet Gibbs Center participants and learn about the center, which provides participants with life skills, independence and integration into the community.

Last year's Wing Ding raised $20,000 and helped the center buy a van that enables participants to get around town on daily trips. The center was also able to buy new iPads with adaptive communication software.

"Someone who has a hard time verbalizing what they want, what they need, or their choice, they can use this software to use the touchscreen and let us know their preferences," Judd said.

The Gibbs Center is all about independence and choice. The center has what it calls a "communication board" with the labels "places" and "people." When someone at the center wants to go somewhere, such as Target, Walmart, or McDonald's, he or she can find a picture of the location and put it on the board beside their name. This way, even nonverbal participants can be heard.

This year, Judd hopes to raise as much or more than last year because the center is about to undergo a $500,000 renovation to increase its capacity and accessibility for people with disabilities. Judd said it is going to have a new training kitchen, technology center and interactive sensory areas.

Judd said Gibbs Center employees and participants look forward to the Wing Ding all year long, and some participants help plan the event.

"A lot of community members give their time and resources to make this happen, and we're really grateful for that,” she said.

More News

Grid
List
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A 61-year-old southwest Missouri woman has been sentenced to life in prison for an ambush-style shooting of... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 6:08:59 AM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - An arrest for suspicion of filing a false report has been made in connection to a reported robbery... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 11:44:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - After four days of searching, Jerry Kinman has been found dead near Little Dixie Lake. Kinman,... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 10:19:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
STURGEON - The carnival rides at the Boone County Fair are back up and running after closing unexpectedly just hours... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 9:00:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A democratic candidate for Missouri's fourth congressional district criticized the Republican incumbent Tuesday for her lack of action... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 6:46:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Chamber of Commerce harshly criticized the city council at Monday night's meeting regarding projects being put... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 6:41:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Hy-Vee recalled its Spring Pasta Salad from 244 stores on Tuesday. Company officials said 20 illnesses by... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 5:54:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
MEXICO - Josh Hawley faced questions about President Donald Trump's summit with Russia as well as tariffs facing Missouri farmers... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 5:31:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Construction crews began adding a turn lane for an upcoming Columbia middle school on South Sinclair Road on... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 2:58:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
BOONE COUNTY – Expecting mothers in Boone County will soon have more services at their disposal. The county received... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 2:16:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Grain Belt Express Clean Line, a proposed energy transmission project through northern Missouri, got new life... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 1:59:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
ASHLAND - A child identification program wants to help parents be as prepared as possible in the event that a... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 1:41:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Nineteen agencies received more than $115,000 in grant money Tuesday from the United Way of Central Missouri.... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 11:56:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Some people may notice their trash laying out on the curb for longer than usual on Tuesday. ... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 11:12:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLE COUNTY - A car chase which started in Cole County on Tuesday ended in Columbia with two arrests. ... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 10:22:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The group fighting a ballot measure that would make Missouri a right-to-work state has outraised its... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 10:17:30 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Authorities say two planes carrying more than 250 passengers made emergency landings at Kansas City International... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 10:11:34 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Police records related to the shooting death of Rovon Blocker suggest the incident appeared to be accidental. ... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 9:39:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 78°
2am 76°
3am 73°
4am 73°
5am 72°