Ticonderoga restaurant took part in the “Wing War” at the Knights of Columbus recently to raise money for the Ticonderoga Food Pantry. From left are John Williams, a pantry volunteer; Emma Williams, a pantry volunteer, John Bartlett; Margaret Beuerlein, pantry director; Rollin Slattery, grand knight; and John Blanchard, Knight’s treasurer.
The Knights of Columbus came out on top in the second annual “Wing War,” but the Ticonderoga Food Pantry was the real winner.
The “Wing War” pitted 10 Ti restaurants to determine which one makes the best chicken wings in town. The event raised $1,300, which was donated to the Ti Food Pantry.
“I think this is fantastic,” said Margaret Beuerlein, food pantry director. “I’m shock and pleased with the amount. It’s a tremendous help to the food pantry.”
Taking part in the “Wing War” were the Knights of Columbus, Fort View Inn, Burleigh House, Emerald’s, House of Pizza, The Pub, Tierney’s, the Wind Chill, the EMA and the Burgoyne Grill at the Best Western.
Unmarked wings were served at the Knights hall to people, who then voted for their favorite.
The Knights won with the EMA and Wind Chill tied for second place, just two votes back. Four other restaurants tied for third place, four votes back.
“I’d like to thank all the restaurants who participated in out ‘Wing War’,” said Rollin Slattery, K of C grand knight. “Without the generous support of these restaurants and others, like John Bartlett, we wouldn’t be able to make this donation to the food pantry. It was really a community event.
“It was great fun,” Slattery added. “We saw a lot of new faces this year; our attendance was definitely up. I’m looking forward to next year.”
The “Wing War” will be an annual benefit for the Ticonderoga Food Pantry, Slattery said, held the third Saturday of October.
“It’s a great way to support our food pantry, which is having an ever more difficult time assisting the rising number of families in need of help,” Slattery said. “It’s a great cause.”
The Ticonderoga Food Pantry, located in the First United Methodist Church on Wicker Street, is entering the winter in good shape, Beuerlein said, but she expects demand to increase.
“We’re coming into the holidays and, of course, the heating season,” she said. “When people have to heat their homes that leaves less money for food. That’s when they turn to us. We’re fairly well-stocked right now, but it goes quickly.”
Beuerlein said the Ti pantry now serves up to 100 families a month.
“We used to get about 30 families a month,” she said. “That was considered a big month.”
The “Wing War” donation will be used by pantry staff to purchase food from the Northeast Regional Food Bank.
Beuerlein noted the cost of food and mandates that the pantry offer low-sodium items is putting pressure on local volunteers.
“The price of food has gone up and the low-sodium items are much more expensive than regular foods,” she said. “We shop for the best deals we can find and we still use coupons, but the money just doesn’t go as far as it used to.”
The Ti Food Pantry meets the needs of the less fortunate thanks to the community, Beuerlein said.
“Community support for the food pantry is phenomenal,” she said. “The community is always there to help us.”
One of the largest benefits for the local food shelf is the annual visit of the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train. This year the train is scheduled to visit Ticonderoga Friday, Nov. 30, at 4 p.m.
Each year Canadian Pacific makes a cash donation to the food pantry and asks those turning out for the train to make a non-perishable food item donation. Ti Food Pantry volunteers collect the donations and take them to the pantry.