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Itís nearly upon us, that most sacred of Fat Man holidays Ė The Grundy Bank Hot Dog Eating Contest.† Iím competing for the very first time, and I havenít been this excited since the McRib came back!† Truly, for a fat guy this is a Major Event and more fun than watching a squirrel on a trampoline.

For those of you who arenít familiar, each year for the past five years Grundy Bank has sponsored this gala affair on the lawn of the Grundy County Courthouse.† Folks compete for some wonderful charities by stuffing as many hot dogs down their gullet as they can in two minutes.† This year the participants have a chance to win up to $500 extra for their chosen organization.

An extra $250 matching prize will be awarded to the contestant who collects the most donations, while the other $250 will be given to the winner of Grundy Bank's sixth annual Brown Bag Friday Hot Dog Eating Contest.† Festivities begin at 11:30 a.m. Friday, including live music by Marvin Minerich and concessions.† The hot dog contest will begin at 12:30 p.m.

Every dollar raised matters, and Iím hoping Iíll be able to collect a Major Award for the Grundy County Housing Authority.† However, the competition this year is stiff, and Iím going to need your help.† We love to win at the Housing Authority (actually, I really love to win).† We Care of Grundy County Executive Director Denise Gaska has turned this into a grudge match between local Daily Herald reporter Christina Chapman and me; Chapman is representing We Care of Grundy County.† Gaska claims, ď"We have the best hot dog eater and definitely the prettiest."

The truth, of course, is that the real winners in this contest are those served by the organizations represented.† Children, people with disabilities, the elderly, the hungryÖ the list goes on.† So, no matter to whom you donate, you can know every dollar is going to a worthwhile mission.† I really do hope youíll come support the community and support people in need right here at home.

PRETTIEST hot dog eater?† Hrrrmmph!† How can Denise POSSIBLY say that?

christina brent small