Dozens of people came to Bistro 25 East in Blue Point this weekend to cheer on contestants in a hot dog eating contest that raised $10,000 for charity.
Over the last week, Ryan Carroll, founder of Carroll’s Kitchen, had accepted monetary donations to help feed underprivileged students across the south shore.
The nonprofit was founded at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic when many local chefs and restaurant workers were put out of work. Carroll wanted to help those who were struggling, so he partnered with several eateries, re-hiring the chefs to make food and donate it the community.
“At the start of the pandemic, we started feeding hospital workers on the front lines,” Carroll, a Sayville High School graduate, told GreaterSayville.com. “Now we’re shifting to feeding hungry kids, as well as the elderly.”
With their No Kid Hungry Campaign, they drop off food to underprivileged children in school districts across the local area. Working alongside five social workers and 15 teachers, they have helped over 600 families, as of right now.
On Sunday, volunteers came together to cheer on the 20 men competing in Bistro 25’s hot dog eating contest. Bags of chips, water bottles and 4,000 Nathan’s Hot Dogs were donated to the cause, and in 10 minutes, the winning number of eaten hot dogs in one sitting was 12.
Between the GoFundMe page and the fee to get in for people who stopped by for the contest, more than $10,000 was raised. The Angels of Long Island, a Patchogue-based nonprofit and outreach group, partnered with the event and brought a raffle basket – a shopping cart filled with groceries.
Carroll wants to give back to the community and hopefully make a change.
“I’m going to keep going until the schools can reform their food service systems,” he said. “I’m hoping to change the inequality there is between the different schools and I’m trying to be the latter that helps build it and make it better.”
Photos by Julianne Mosher