A family-owned restaurant in DeFuniak Springs is hosting a wing eating contest to raise money for Healing Tools for Warriors, an organization supporting local veterans with post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.

The 5th Annual Wing Eating Contest for Charity is set 2 p.m. Sept. 16 at 4C BBQ Family Restaurant, 1045 U.S. Highway 331 S., DeFuniak Springs.

This is the fifth year 4C BBQ Family Restaurant has hosted this event, however, this year’s fundraiser will be different. According to Robin Ford, who co-owns the restaurant with his wife Teresa, the wing eating contest was hosted in support of the Wounded Warrior Project in past years. Although they still support WWP through other means, Ford said he recently learned about Healing Tools for Warriors and grew interested in the cause.

Penny Pinkham, the organization’s founder, approached Ford and asked if their business would be interested in supporting them. Ford said he sat down with Pinkham and learned about her history and the history of the organization. Four of Pinkham’s sons have PTSD, so this is a cause close to her heart.

“We met some guys here, and we didn’t realize that in this area there were so many of them with PTSD and TBI,” Ford said. “Of course there’s other issues with [veterans], cases other than PTSD, but PTSD is the main thing for me when she was talking about it.”

Healing Tools for Warriors hosts an annual retreat in Destin where veterans with PTSD and TBI can go to unwind. The retreat comprises educational speakers, panels, resource facilitation, and daily activities, culminating with a day of relaxation and respite.

“I was thrilled to do it,” Ford said. “We came to find out that [Penny] is a true warrior of God and a patriot like you wouldn’t believe for our men and women in the service.”

Ford said between 40 and 45 groups have already signed up for the contest, so it will likely be an all-day event. 4C BBQ smokes their wings and deep fries them. Before the competition, they weigh the wings. Each contestant in a group, which comprises four people, needs to eat 10 wings. Their times and the end weight of their leftovers will be put into an algorithm that will determine the winners.

According to Ford, all of the money raised during the wing eating contest will go to fund the food at the annual retreat, which will be held Sept. 22-24. There is a cash prize for first place, but Ford said the winners usually donate the money back to the cause.

“That’s where our hearts are,” Ford said. “We’re all about supporting the military and especially those who the government hasn’t taken care of. We want to help those who are trying to take care of [the veterans]; we want to help them get what they need to be able to do that.”

Contact Robin or Teresa Ford at 892-4227, or visit the restaurant at 1045 US-331 South in DeFuniak Springs, for more information on the event.