PERRYVILLE — Several teams faced off Jan. 24 to see how many hot wings they could gobble down, but in the end it was the team from the University of Delaware that emerged victorious.
The annual hot wing-eating contest fundraiser, held at the Greene Turtle in the Hollywood Casino, raised funds for the Community Services Foundation nonprofit. The money will be passed along to the Cecil County Human Trafficking Task Force to assist survivors of human trafficking, according to Anne Bean, Cecil County’s family violence coordinator.
The teams, each containing four members, competed in hot wing-eating heats. The winner of each heat returned for a final heat to decide a winner. But that final heat resulted in a tie and had to be repeated to determine the true winner, meaning the winners had to eat wings three times, Bean said.
“They were wonderful sports,” she said.
Organizers are still tallying up the total money raised through this year’s contest, including ticket sales and 15% of the Greene Turtle’s earnings for that night. But Bean said the fundraiser has taken in a little more than $5,000 for each of the past two years, and she expects they will exceed that amount this year.
As part of the University of Delaware team’s win, the group was awarded $200 in prize money — which they subsequently donated back to the efforts to help survivors of human trafficking, according to Bean.
Bean said the task force will use the funds raised through the event to help survivors of human trafficking overcome a range of problems, such as lack of food, transportation, housing, clothing, or other basic necessities.
“Oftentimes, we run into folks that have been recovered from [a human trafficking situation] and they present with a variety of needs,” she said.
Bean said the task force does not limit how they can help people, rather they look at each person’s needs on a case-by-case basis and decide on an appropriate use of the funds for that individual.
The fundraiser was held in recognition of January being Human Awareness Month.
In addition to the fundraiser, Bean noted that Cecil County is one of three jurisdictions in Maryland that has been awarded a special grant to address child sex traffickng.
“We’re a bit of a pilot program and we’re pretty excited about that,” she said. “We just kind of in the very beginning stages of getting the project up and running.”
The Cecil County Department of Social Services is in the process of hiring a new position that will be the point of contact for any victims that are suspected or confirmed to be victim of child sex trafficking 24 years old and younger, according to Bean.