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Back You are here: Home Opinion Opinion Section Editorials Editorial: Wing Fling: Tolerance One Weekend A Year

Editorial: Wing Fling: Tolerance One Weekend A Year

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

Last week I wrote an editorial about the annual "Wing Fling" event held at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk. Since our Town's Land Use Plan and Master Plan strongly desire family-oriented businesses, activities and events, my statement was, "Is a 21 or older college-alcohol centric chicken wing cookout with bands confined in a small area by tall prison-like chain-link fencing and a port-a-john farm a "family-oriented" event?"
A representative of the UNCW fraternity that organizes the event responded to that editorial. (Her letter appears below...)
First, I can't think of another event in Carolina Beach that has to ask for "tolerance one weekend a year so we can continue to do good on many, many fronts."
However, I can appreciate the acknowledgement that tolerance is something this event is willing to ask for from the citizens.
Second, the statement, "The age restriction means that the event is not family-oriented" echoes the point of my previous editorial. It's not "family-oriented" and that is contrary to the core of long running revitalization efforts in our Central Business District.
Third, please read the editorial a second time. Because I can't believe you fully understood it - or amid criticism - emotion got the better of your intellect.
You wrote, "The Managing Editor in his editorial asked that the students consider focusing on a “true” charity event such as the Lo-Tide run. Does that mean that Mr. Killough does not consider the Katie B Hines Senior Center a deserving charity?"
"Wrong" does not adequately describe your description of the clear meaning contained in my editorial.
Here's what I wrote, "And that's not to say such an event is a bad idea. It's an excellent idea if held at the appropriate location or venue. But introducing business students to the wonderful world of event organizing by means of beer, bands, and wings is a little sketchy to say the least. How about calling upon those students to focus on a true charity event such as the annual Lo-Tide run for cancer or some other event that is more focused on a broader participation group than those wanting to suck down beer and spicy chicken and don't drive to the event because one of the attractions is drinking lots of beer. This is the only event this Town permits on public property where one of the reassuring points is to set up contract rates with cab companies because they know their patrons will be too drunk to drive."
287 words later, my editorial in question stated, "The question becomes, what is our community getting out of this endeavor? They gave around $4,000 to the senior center one year. Maybe that charitable pay-off warrants permitting the event."
It was clear to me the first statement was a recommendation to try organizing an event such as the Lo-Tide Run for cancer rather than an alcohol centric college 21 or older beer and wing party. And 287 words later, I mentioned their donation to a local non-profit.
The latter point being, they give a little to a charity in order to hold the event and without that donation, it's unlikely they would get Council's permission. That's in fact one of the deciding factors our elected leaders used when first approving this event - be sure to spread the money around.
To answer the letter writer's question, YES, Mr. Killough does consider the Katie B. Hines Senior Center a deserving charity. In fact, the thought never crossed my mind as to whether or not they are deserving. This newspaper has always devoted ample space and coverage for the senior center for far more years than this event has been in existence. So I'm quite sure we've donated on a regular basis. But that was not an issue raised by my editorial.
As for Danny at the Fat Pelican, he approached me at the grocery store the other day and said it was only a few people that caused problems and that the majority of event patrons were good customers.
At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what "Mr. Killough" thinks. It's public opinion regarding the judgment of the Town Council to permit various events to take place in a town that desires to be "family-oriented." Leaders will be weighed and measured by their constituents based on such decisions. Hopefully it will be a bright sunny day and everything will go off without a hitch.