Volunteer firefighters scooped, slurped and scarfed down raw clams Sunday to raise money for their fire departments and a charity serving wounded armed service members.
More than a dozen Nassau County firefighters tried to outdo their opponents at the fourth annual clam-eating contest at Peter’s Clam Bar in Island Park, consuming more than 600 clams in six minutes as supporters chanted “come on!” and “swallow it!”
Elmont Firefighter Charlie Fries and Lawrence-Cedarhurst Firefighter Andrew Helicher tied for first place, eating 39 clams in two minutes, and split $3,500 in prizes for their fire departments.
“We’re neighboring departments. We help each other in times of need,” said Helicher, 46, a programmer with Best Buy.
Reigning champion and former Hempstead Fire Chief Charlie Hendry came in third with 38 clams, earning $500 for his department.
The prize money was provided by the clam bar; the proceeds donated to the charities came from donations from the public and registration fees for the contest.
Butch Yamali, president of the Dover Group in Freeport, which owns the clam bar, said the event raised a record $12,000 for the Nassau County…
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