Hot wings, big hearts bring community together

2 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
COLUMBIA - The application for the top education position in the state, Missouri State Education Board Commissioner, opened Friday leaving... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 8:02:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
BLUE SPRINGS (AP) — A commercial real estate records company based in suburban Kansas City has abruptly shut down, leaving... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 7:42:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Fire Department say a house fire that killed a cat Friday afternoon started in the kitchen.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 7:29:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - For the past six years Ryan Shultz, the creator/owner of the Candy Cane Crib, has shared a well-lit... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 7:17:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said around half of adults in the U.S. struggle with understanding... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 6:00:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in Continuous News
OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A Blue Springs, Missouri, man has pleaded guilty to kidnapping and raping a sheriff's deputy... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 4:51:08 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Ten people are facing federal indictment in a $5.4 million methamphetamine distribution conspiracy. ... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 4:07:15 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Several new businesses will open in Columbia at the start of the new year. Wheely's Cafe, a... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 3:49:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in Continuous News
INDEPENDENCE - Police have now cancelled an endangered silver advisory for a 73-year-old woman with dementia who might have been... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 3:43:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – The Jefferson City Public School Boundaries Committee began discussions on boundary lines for the city’s new high... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 3:29:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
HOLTS SUMMIT - Holts Summit's board of aldermen met Thursday night to discuss creating a city-owned shelter. Currently, the... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 3:07:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
SEDALIA (AP) — The former administrator of an ambulance service in central Missouri has pleaded guilty to embezzling more... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 2:52:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Police said a 42-year-old woman went missing Friday morning and was considered at risk because of medical conditions.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 2:11:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Some HIV-positive patients in nearly half the counties in Missouri will lose health insurance coverage next... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 1:02:12 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A 37-year-old man is charged in the shooting of two suburban St. Louis police officers who... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 12:28:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
MONTGOMERY CITY - The Montgomery County Coroner's office is investigating how a person died after a house fire Thursday afternoon... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 12:15:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
PERRYVILLE (AP) — A dog who was the subject of a two-year court battle and a faked death is back... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 10:40:00 AM CST December 15, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The search for a new St. Louis police chief is down to six finalists — three... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 10:34:09 AM CST December 15, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 48°
12pm 47°
1pm 47°
2pm 48°
3pm 48°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

11:30a
Open House
12:00p
2018 Winter Olympic Trials
2:00p
PGA Tour Golf
11:30a
Paid Program
12:00p
Seinfeld
12:30p
Family Guy

Tonight's Schedule

6:00p
Football Night in America
7:20p
Sunday Night Football
7:00p
The Christmas Bunny
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Family Guy