First Place

Chris Shaw with Jo-Jo’s BBQ won $500 as the first-place winner in the 2017 Wing Fling on May 27 in downtown Loganville.

I guess the best place to start is in the beginning!

While visiting St. Simons Island in the summer of 2014, my wife and I happened into a chili cookoff being held by the St Simons Rotary. I had been a member our local Rotary here in Loganville for some time and had discussed fund raising events for our community outreach programs.

Knowing that the Eastside Chamber of Commerce had in the past sponsored its very own chili cookoff, our Rotary Club needed to come up with something new and unique to help raise funds to help our communities in and around Walton County.

Has any one ever had one of those aha moments? Well, I did, and at our very next regular meeting I proposed we too could raise funds for our club but not with a same old same old chili cookofff but with a chicken wing cookoff.

At first our members were somewhat confused as to how we could make this happen, but one of our members, Mrs. Renee Park, stood up and shouted out, “Let’s call it the ‘Wing Fling!’” and so the club went to work planning and designing the overall plan to put on our very first Wing Fling cookoff here in Loganville.

With the help of then-Mayor Dan Curry and City Manager Bill Jones as well as the help of Mrs. Kristy Daniel, the Loganville event coordinator, we held our very first event on the Town Green in Loganville.

Needless to say, it was a big hit. Loganville Rotary Club’s motto is “Service Above Self” and I must say every member pitched in to help and to make it a true success for our growing community.

With the introduction of the Chicken Dance for young and old to the music furnished by Doug Adams, Kristy and Bill to the 20-plus contestants trying for the first-place trophy as well as bragging rights for the best wings in Walton County but also for the first-place prize of $500, it was a success.

Needless to say, our goal was to raise monies to help those in need with in our communities.

One of our very first projects was to help a family in dire need for their grandson who had been bedridden for most of his young life. With spinal issues and after many attempts at correcting his condition it left him totally dependent on his grand parents and to make maters worse, he has lost his grandfather as well and this young man was stuck in a room in the trailer and was not able to even leave his room.

The Loganville Rotary took on the “The Huie Project,” as we dubbed it, and gave him a new handicapped-accessible bathroom with ample storage for his personal needs, plus a big-screen television set, a laptop computer and a full-body lifting apparatus so he could leave his bed for his first shower in months, as well as a way to view the world from the comfort of his new surroundings.

This year will mark our sixth Wing Fling on the Green in downtown Loganville.

With the pandemic under control and people feeling good about getting out into the fresh air for the first time in months, it’s time to enjoy family and friends as the Rotary Club of Loganville once again puts on the now famous WING FLING 2021.

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