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Local

Eating a ton of hot dogs for a good cause

This year’s Grundy Bank Brown Bag Hot Dog Eating Contest is just around the corner, and I am sad to say after what I believe has been eight years, I will not be participating this year.

In all honesty, there just isn’t enough room in this belly of mine at 34 weeks’ pregnant now, let alone at the 37 weeks’ pregnant I’ll be on the day of the contest, which is Friday, June 9.

As much as I thoroughly enjoy hot dogs, as does my soon-to-be daughter, I just can’t promise I’ll make it to the contest date since I have the potential of delivering a little early.

So, in effort to not let down the United Way of Grundy County, the organization I compete to raise money for every year in the contest, I stepped aside to let a different champion come out of retirement to fill my shoes – former Regional Superintendent of Schools Paul Nordstrom and longtime United Way board member.

I may be the reigning champ of the fundraising portion of the contest, despite rarely eating even half a hot dog, but Paul is a past eating champion.

In 2009, he and Sheriff Kevin Callahan tied for the win, eating five hot dogs each. If anyone can take over for me, it’s Paul.

Although I won’t be competing, I’m hopeful to be there to help rally support for Paul and am asking all those who have come out to support myself and United Way in the past to join us again this year and throw your cheers and donations to Paul.

Last year, with the help of all of you, we raised more than $1,600 for United Way and with the match given by Grundy Bank to the fundraising and hot dog-eating winners, we totaled more than $1,800 for United Way.

Every year, I am moved by the support this community has for all the charities at this event and am truly grateful to all of you who donate, cheer us on, and give your time to these organizations. In 2016, more than $7,600 was raised for nine local nonprofits; what a testament to our county.

Same rules apply, you have to make your donation at the event for it to count toward the fundraising contest.

Please join us at 11:30 a.m. (Eating contest starts at 12:30 p.m.)

Contestants can take monetary donations from 11:30 to 12:15 on the courthouse lawn.

So please bring your change, dollars or checks to the contest on June 9.

This year’s contestants include Jake Bulthius for Grundy Resource Organization, Jamie Rios for Illinois Valley Industries, Jason Helland for Grundy-Three Rivers Habitat for Humanity, Ken Iverson for the Morris YMCA, Eric Fisher for We Care of Grundy County, David Valdivia for the MCHS Soccer Boosters, Justin Ritz for Just For Animals Shelter, Paul Nordstrom for United Way and Dave Dykstra for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Will and Grundy Counties.

These are all amazing causes and we wish them all luck, but do remember if you donate to Paul, you get a chance to win a Grundy County Chamber gift certificate and the more you donate the more chances you get, so in addition to doing a good deed, you can get a prize!

Hope to see you all June 9, and if I don’t make it due to being in labor, I’ll be sure to send my donation down with someone and will be cheering the contestants on from the delivery room.

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