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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

iCare Eat-a-Thon returns to the Drake Relays

The 15th annual eating contest returns, but this time instead of eating in front of crowds on Forest Avenue, contestants will eat their food at home.

DES MOINES, Iowa — With the Drake Relays returning for its 111th edition, it also means some of the activities spectators get to watch return too. 

Like the iCare Eat-a-Thon: an eating competition where teams of eaters who represent nonprofits eat lots of food to raise money for nonprofits in central Iowa.

This year, the competition will look different because instead of contestants eating a significant amount of food on a stage in front of the public, they will do so at home. 

"But the goal of raising thousands of dollars for multiple non-profits is the same," iCare Founder and Director Kirk Schuler said.

The nonprofits participating this year are: Eat Greater Des Moines, Orchard Place,Griff Gives Back, Hispanic Educational Resources, Community Youth Concepts, Kick It Forward, Bulldog Club,Spina Bifida Association of Iowa, Booster Pak, Average Everyday Miracles, Junior League of Des Moines, Dorothy’s House, Meals From The Heartland, Please Pass The Love, and the Public Interest Law Association. 

For the 2021 edition of the competition, participating members will eat a mini-Emmenecker from Jethro's BBQ, weighing 1.25 pounds.

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Contestants have four minutes to finish as much food as they can, and what's left after the time is up must be weighed on a scale. They must then send the results and a selfie with the remaining food to iCare.

Schuler noted this event was important to have this year to make sure the non-profits get the help they need.

"The fundraising aspect for a non-profit can be quite challenging and it takes up a lot of time, and energy, and resources," he said. "And so iCare, our mission is to inspire Iowans to champion charitable causes of all kinds through its one-of-a-kind fundraiser the Eat-A-Thon." 

Friday is the last day for the teams to eat as much as they can. The winner will be announced Saturday on iCare's Facebook page.

The founders of the event are also taking donations to help the nonprofits.