Gold Medal

Miguel Minnenhall finished eight hot wings in one minute to win the competition at the First Ward House on Tuesday.

The First Ward House hosted a hot-wing eating competition to benefit the local charity Heartwarmers of Saint Joseph.

The event, which also included a raffling of gifts donated by various establishments around town, raised $595.

Contestants had to eat eight wings with the spice increasing for every wing.

The gold medal winner was Miguel Minnenhall. He finished all eight wings, including the last one, which was spiced with a ghost pepper, in exactly one minute.

Minnenhall revealed the strategy that got him first place.

“Pop one — suck on one, pop one — suck on one,” Minnenhall said. “The last one is quite spicy, but I’ve been eating wings a long time.”

Minnenhall is the co-owner of 20 After 4, and besides competing, the business donated three gift cards to the event.

R.J. Jackson founded Heartwarmers back in 2017. It donates space heaters to families without adequate heat through AFL-CIO.

Jackson said he pitched the idea to Ryan Gerster, the owner of First Ward, because he believed they had the best wings in town.

Besides cooking the wings, Gerster also donated a gift to the raffle.

“We’re trying to provide people with some much needed heaters,” Gerster said. “It’s great charity work. I’m proud of R.J.”

The entry fee to the hot-wing competition was $25 and five competed. The overall event raised enough money to purchase 83 space heaters, which are capable of turning themselves off if they tip over.

Families that need additional heat can call the AFL-CIO to see if they are eligible to receive a space heater.

Ryan Hennessy can be reached


Follow him on twitter: @NPNowHennessy.