Ce-Koi Scatliffe won the hamburger eating contest, St. John Fire Service Chief Winifred Powell got doused repeatedly at the soaking booth, and children and adults enjoyed an afternoon of fun at the Skinny Legs fund raiser for the Guy H. Benjamin Elementary School.
In recognition of National Hamburger Day, June 4, the afternoon of games and competition in a makeshift Coney Island midway was sponsored by the popular Coral Bay establishment to support its neighboring community school.
More than $8,000 was raised and the organizers almost immediately began planning to make it an annual event.
“We had a great time and we are very excited about it and already looking towards next year,” said Skinny Legs manager Doug Bean. “We are definitely trying to make it an annual thing.”
Filling School’s Wish List
Bean also was planning to meet with school officials to begin to fill their wish list for improvements and equipment.
“It’s going to be spent on supplies for classrooms,” acting GBS Principal Dionne Wells told St. John Tradewinds Thursday, June 7. “Equipment and books.”
Wells told a Parent Teacher Organization meeting in early May the staff desperately needed a new freezer for the school’s small kitchen, and that need remains at the top of her list.
The cafeteria’s coolers have been fixed and other equipment is in working order, Wells told St. John Tradewinds on Thursday, June 7.
“All we need is a new freezer,” Wells said. “That is definitely one (need) that would be filled.”
Furniture Is Needed
The school also needs some pre-school furniture because there will be no combined classes at the K-6 grade school. The combined K-1 class will be split into separate kindergarten and first grades, according to Wells.
The National Hamburger Day fund raiser attracted children and adults, and both young and old took part in the variety of carnival-style games set up in the parking lot.
Shortly after 3 p.m., more than a dozen island kids crowded a picnic table in the middle of the Skinny Legs horseshoe pit for the hamburger eating contest. Onlookers lined the restaurant’s railings overlooking the competition to cheer on the young participants.
Ce-Koi, a former GBS student who now attends the Julius E. Sprauve School, methodically worked his way through his three burgers — calmly daubing the last crumbs off his plate while event-goers chanted encouragement.
Meanwhile, an older competitor made a serious effort to catch him by stuffing his mouth with most of an entire burger and washing it down with a torrent of bottled water.
In the end, it came down to the judge’s determination of which contestant still had food in their mouth to swallow and the older competitor graciously offered his congratulations to his younger adversary.
Ce-Koi humbly accepted the prize of an i-Pod Shuffle donated by Premier Wines and Spirits — although he looked like he could have continued the competition.
Competitors of All Appetites
While most of the competitors looked like they realized the event was harder than it sounded shortly after they began, GBS second grader Taevion Calixte was not far behind the leaders when the contest ended with only half a hamburger left on his plate — and a satisfied grin on his face.
Next to Taevion, Paige Clark, a willing and smiling target in the soaking booth earlier in the afternoon, thoroughly enjoyed being part of the competition — although she only ate half of one hamburger.
In a battle between chefs, John Young defeated Matt Vacharat in the adult hamburger eating contest later in the day — which was almost as entertaining as the kids competiton.