Bring your appetite


Like chicken wings?

Do you like to wash down those chicken wings with a cold beverage?

You're in luck.

The 18th annual Jefferson City Wing Ding will be held from 5-8 p.m. Wednesday at the Jefferson City Fairgrounds, with all proceeds going to the Gibbs Center for Independence.

Here's your chance to enjoy some good food, good company, good times, all for a great cause.

"It's a wonderful organization, here locally, so all the money stays here," said the event's emcee, KRCG Sports Director Rod Smith. "They help those adults with disabilities find something meaningful and rewarding, along with a place to learn.

"It gives them a place each day to make their lives a little bit more fulfilling."

Smith basically hosts every fundraising event except the Jerry Lewis Telethon. But he never ceases to be impressed by the support they receive.

"It's a wonderful community we live in," Smith said. "It's amazing how many volunteers there are who make these events work and make them successful.

"Then the people in the community who come out to support all the great causes ... it's just really special."

You will get to savor the flavor from seven participants:

* J.Pfenney's

* Spectators

* Arris Pizza and Bistro

* Lutz's

* Hy-Vee

* Bandana's

* Pizza Hut

Cost is $15, which includes two drink vouchers. If you know of a better deal, please let us know.

"We've got some really restaurants this year, as we have in years past," Smith said. "They're great wings and you can eat as many as you want. We have a lot of entertainment, too, and you get to see a lot of people in the community.

"It's a fun night."

What does this have to do with sports, since I'm basically a sports columnist? Well, it's also a competition as to who's the best, in a variety of categories, as voted on by those who attend and a panel of celebrity judges.

Obviously, they couldn't find enough "celebrities," because I'm one of the judges. And I don't do the really hot wings, that's my wife's deal. For her, the hotter the wings, the better.

This should not be a surprise, however, that she loves the hot stuff. She's with me, isn't she?

You can laugh here.

Here are last year's winners:

* Best Seasoned: Hook's

* Meatiest: Lutz's

* Best BBQ: Bandana's

* Hottest: Hy-Vee

* Tastiest: Pizza Hut

* People's Choice: Lutz's

Who will win this year? You decide.

But the biggest winner of all is the Gibbs Center --- don't forget what's most important about this fun-filled evening.

At the same time, don't forget your appetite.