He ate how many?! Wesley scores with chicken-wing chomping contest

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The Brighter Side
The Brighter Side

How did you celebrate National Nursing Home Week? Frank Caruso Jr. ate 105 chicken wings — imagine 52½ chickens' worth — in one sitting.

Caruso beat out five other staff members and three residents for title of “Wing Off” champion at Wesley Enhanced Living Pennypack Park.

The North Philadelphia nursing and retirement home has hosted the eating competition for six years, pitting residents — who typically eat boneless wings — against staff from across the building who have to rip their way through bone-in wings.

Originally a Super Bowl-related celebration, staff decided to include it in their daily Nursing Home Week festivities because it was so popular.

“Residents like to see us make a fool out of ourselves sometimes,” said Megan Boran, activities director, a former participant and non-winner. “They like that we're having fun, acting like family. It creates a community feel.”

Skilled nursing resident Rick Dych, 65, placed first among the seniors last Thursday, chowing down 23 spicy wings in the first round alone and 35 total. Nearby, Caruso, a member of the maintenance staff, was chin-deep in Buffalo sauce — even though he told local media he's not a fan of wings.

Meanwhile, fellow residents and workers smart enough not to force feed themselves hot wings cheered on the competitors in the all-purpose room, some wearing Philadelphia Eagles jerseys and waving pom pons.