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Relishing her role

Planning to dog it in eating contest, Van Yperen looks to collect most cash

Published: Thursday, June 6, 2013 9:59 a.m. CST
(Herald File Photo)
Morris Daily Herald reporter Christina Chapman-Van Yperen poses with a half eaten hot dog after competing in the Grundy Bank Brown Bag Friday Hot Dog Eating Contest at the Grundy County Courthouse in Morris last year. Van Yperen, who as weeks away from her wedding at that time, raised the most money of all the contestants.

It’s that time of year again - Grundy Bank’s Annual Hot dog Eating Contest. This means it is also time for me to come up with another excuse for why I can’t stuff my face with hot dogs.

Yes, I am a contestant again this year in the contest where I will do my best to finish one hot dog in two minutes as reigning champion Sheriff Kevin Callahan devours at least five hot dogs as though they were candy.

Since I do not stand a chance at competing against Callahan or last year’s second-place winner Kevin Bernard of Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers, I will concentrate on keeping my own reigning title — top fundraiser.

As many of you may remember, at last year’s event I was just two months away from getting married and having to fit into my wedding dress. Therefore, there was no way I was stuffing my face with hot dogs and risking the pounds for my wedding day.

So, instead, I went for the money and raised more than $1,500 for my charity, which was then matched with $250 more from Grundy Bank.

This year, I’m hoping to do the same for United Way of Grundy County.

This year the contest is just two weeks before my big 3-0 birthday and, since I have to look fabulous in my birthday suit, I certainly cannot waste the calories on hot dogs. I am sorry, but leaving my 20s is bad enough as it is.

Lucky for me, Karen Nall, executive director of the United Way, is very supportive of my stuff-the-bucket-not-the-face strategy.

“It’s about having fun and raising money and we know Christina does both very very well,” said Nall.

Each contestant will begin fundraising at 11:30 a.m. Friday on the Grundy County Courthouse lawn. We will all have our own buckets for people to donate to one of 10 different charities.

Contestants are only allowed to accept donations during the Brown Bag lunch so make sure you show your support in person and deposit your donation in their bucket anytime between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

And then, we will compete at 12:30 p.m. to eat as many hot dogs as we can.

Well, others will compete, I will watch and enjoy my one hot dog.

Even though United Way will come out the winning charity — cough cough — every charity receives donations. All of the money each contestant raises in his or her bucket will still go to the charity — win or lose.

In Grundy Bank’s six previous years of holding this contest, about $9,500 has been donated to local charities, said Sara Grieff, member of the bank’s Caring Committee, which runs the contest.

The United Way of Grundy County supports 27 local service agencies with annual funding. Their goal this year is to raise $455,000 to help fund organizations such as Grundy Community Volunteer Hospice, We Care of Grundy County, boys and girls scouts, and many more.

In case you were still debating on which contestant to donate to, let me bribe you. United Way has obtained a donation from Orpheum Theater in Morris of two tickets to use at any time for any movie. Every person who donates to me will get a chance to win a “Night at the Movies” basket.

Please support me Friday, not only for the sake of my 30-year-old figure, but for the United Way of Grundy County.

Bring your dimes, quarters, dollars, big bills or checks made out to the United Way of Grundy County. All joking aside, every dollar counts for every single one of these charities so please join us for all of our great causes.

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