10 Years of Hot Dogs, People Helping People & Miracles

10 Years of Hot Dogs, People Helping People & Miracles

Hot dog…it’s that time of year again!!  Vizo Financial is hosting its 10th anniversary event of our signature Hot Dog Eating Contest to benefit Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital on Wednesday, July 19, at 3:30 p.m.  Over the past decade, the contest has hosted more than 70 contestants, who have eaten a combined total of more than 180 hot dogs, and raised $46,000 for CMN Hospitals.

You know who else turned 10 this year??  My nephew Liam – who has a special history with Penn State Health Children’s Hospital.

Baby Liam in the NICU

When Liam was born at 25 weeks gestation, he weighed less than two pounds and was diagnosed with bronchopulmonary disease, or chronic lung disease.  The time immediately following his birth was filled with uncertainty and anxiety over Liam’s health and the wellbeing of my sister’s family.  He was intubated for weeks and could not breathe without the assistance of a ventilator.  After spending three months in the neonatal intensive care unit at a nearby hospital, Liam was transferred to Penn State Health Children’s Hospital where he was given an opportunity for a greater quality of life.  He received a tracheostomy, which allowed Liam to come home and be with his family until his lungs and respiratory muscles could mature.

Liam, a CMN Miracle Child, turns 10!

CMN Hospitals at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital provided my family with materials to learn about the tracheostomy and how to best care for Liam.  They also provided resources and activities to entertain Liam’s big sister, Macy, during her brother’s six-month hospital stay.  The support and care my sister’s immediate family received through the CMN Hospitals Child Life Program helped them to manage their changing family dynamic and work through the roller coaster of emotions with their skilled counselors and professionals.

Today, Liam is trach free and is a highly active 10-year old who enjoys sports, four-wheelers, camping and swimming!

So many kids share Liam’s experiences at children’s hospitals around the country, and to ensure each child is getting the best treatment and the best chance at living a happy life, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals needs our help!  As credit union employees, we are fortunate to be part of Credit Unions for Kids, the charity of choice for the credit union movement and one of the largest corporate contributors to CMN Hospitals.

I hope you’ll join us in supporting this year’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.  The event is virtual, so credit unions can participate from any location.  We’re seeking contestants to eat hot dogs and have a chance at one of three fabulous prizes:

  • The Top Dog: This prize will be awarded to the contestant who can consume the greatest number of hot dogs in five minutes.
  • Hot Diggity Dog: This prize will be awarded to the contestant who shows the most spirit for the contest.
  • Rollin' In The Dough: This prize will be awarded to the contestant who raises the most money for CMN Hospitals at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital.

We’re also offering three sponsorship levels:

  • Frankfurter: This $50 sponsorship is original to the contest.
  • All the Fixin’s: This $100 sponsorship was added in 2019 and features even more perks than the Frankfurter level.
  • Decade of Dogs: This special $200 sponsorship package is a 10th anniversary exclusive and comes with additional benefits, including a Decade of Dogs sponsor GIF and an exclusive commercial for promotional purposes.

Last year, we broke several records with our contest – including the number of credit union sponsors supporting the event as well as the total dollars raised.  We hope to exceed those numbers again with our 10th anniversary contest! If you’re interested in even more details about the contest, I invite you to head over to our event site.

Cooperative principle number seven is “concern for community,” and this is one area where I see credit unions shine every day.  The Hot Dog Eating Contest is an opportunity for us to come together with our Vizo Financial employees, credit union members and CMN Miracle Families to make a difference for kids in our local community, like my nephew, Liam, and fulfill our philosophy of people helping people.

Check out the infographic below to see the impact the Hot Dog Eating Contest has had over the past 10 years!

Erin Doan is the diversity, equity and inclusion director for Vizo Financial. She is responsible for developing and implementing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and community involvement strategies and programs that foster an environment of inclusivity and collaboration amongst staff, business partners and natural person credit unions. Erin has held various roles with the Corpoate since 2002 and is a Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE).