Wings fundraiser helps with scholarships

NILES — The public had the chance to taste more than 25 types of wings while helping to raise money for Game Changers annual scholarships.

Michael Engram, executive coach for Game Changers, said this was the fourth year for the King of the Wings challenge, with judges and the public enjoying chicken wings from 12 establishments.

Judges Lou Limongi of Brookfield, Todd Johnson of Warren and Alexander Murray of Warren sampled 25 to 30 styles of wings in categories of hot, traditional, barbecue and special signature.

“This year was the most people we have ever had. There were long lines at each table,” Engram said.

The event has raised $5,000 annually, which is used for scholarships presented to local high school seniors in June. Engram presents the awards and then takes the recipients to a leadership program at Youngstown State University and on a trip to the ESPYS.

Those who received scholarships four years ago are nearing completion of their degrees, including Mike Miller, a Harding High School graduate attending college in Florida, Engram said.

Peter Sfikas of The Rig in Howland, who had won past awards in this contest, said people lined up to try the buffalo garlic parmesian wings.

The judges said it was a tough competition.

“I look for the taste of the sauce and the texture of the meat,” Limongi said.

Johnson said he looks for the tenderness of the meat.

“There are a lot of good wings. It’s hard to make a selection,” he said.

Engram said it was a close competition.

“The judges had one of the most difficult jobs that night. One category ended in a tie.” he said.

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