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Meat Institute Annual Hot Dog Lunch Hits Grand Slam on Capitol Hill

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

NHDSC Announces Regional Hot Dog Ambassadors

Washington, DC – More than 1,000 lawmakers, congressional staff, meat industry representatives and members of the media today filled the Rayburn House Office Building Courtyard on Capitol Hill to celebrate July as National Hot Dog Month at the North American Meat Institute (Meat Institute) Annual Hot Dog Lunch.

“The Hot Dog Lunch has been an annual tradition for more than 40 years. This longstanding event celebrates America’s love of hot dogs – a love that crosses party lines,” said Meat Institute President and CEO Barry Carpenter. “The lunch is one of the most popular and anticipated events on Capitol Hill, as guests join us to celebrate this iconic American food in the company of major league baseball greats.”

Guests enjoyed more than 3,500 hot dogs, corn dogs, brats and other sausages from popular hot dog manufacturers including Boar’s Head Provisions Co., Inc.; Dietz & Watson, Inc.; Hormel Foods Corporation; Land O’Frost, Inc.; Smithfield Foods; and Tyson Foods, Inc. All uncooked or pre-packaged leftover food will be donated to Carpenter’s Shelter, a local food bank.

The 2018 Hot Dog Lunch is co-hosted by Reps. Michael Conaway (R-TX) and Collin Peterson (D-MN). The event is co-sponsored by American Bakers Association, American Beverage Association, Hormel Foods Corporation, Kraft Heinz, International Bottled Water Association and Snack Food Association.

Baseball Greats in Attendance

Hot dogs and baseball are an American tradition and each year the Hot Dog Lunch pays tribute to this one-of-a-kind relationship.

Attending this year’s lunch to greet fans, sign autographs and enjoy some hot dogs are:

Tim Raines, who played as a left fielder for six teams from 1979 to 2002, and is best known for his 13 seasons with the Montreal Expos. Raines is the 1986 National League batting champion, a seven-time All-Star and four-time stolen base champion. He was elected to the MLB Hall of Fame on January 18, 2017.

Bert Campaneris, who played shortstop for four teams including the Kansas City/Oakland Athletics, Texas Rangers, California Angels and New York Yankees. He holds the Athletics’ franchise records for career games played, hits and at bats, and was part of the Athletics’ 1972 and 1974 championship teams. Campaneris led the American League in stolen bases six times from 1965 to 1972, and retired with the seventh most steals in history. He also led the league in putouts three times, and ended his career among the major league leaders in games and double plays at his position.

Lou Piniella is a former outfielder who played 16 seasons with the Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Royals and New York Yankees. During his playing career, Piniella was named American League Rookie of the Year in 1969 and captured two World Series championships with the Yankees in 1977 and 1978. Piniella is also a three-time Manager of the Year, who won a World Series with the Cincinnati Reds in 1990, and most recently managed the Chicago Cubs until 2010.

Photos from the lunch will be available on the North American Meat Institute Facebook page or on request.

NHDSC Names Hot Dog Ambassadors

As part of its celebration of National Hot Dog Month, the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC) named five regional Hot Dog Ambassadors and several runners-up, dubbed Wiener Warriors, to help lead hot dog celebrations throughout the year.

NHDSC crowned Cortney Auter-Wade the Hot Dog Ambassador for the Midwest region. In addition to her extensive knowledge about Chicagoland hot dog eateries, Auter-Wade’s true passion for this iconic food was on display at her wedding, where the famed Oscar Mayer Wienermobile served as her limo. Midwest runners-up include Jim Ellison, who has a Ph.D. (Purveyor of Hot Dogs) from Hot Dog University and is the creator of the Cronut Dog, and Daniel Stepanian-Bennett, whose travels have offered valuable insight into the U.S.’s unique hot dog varieties.

John Fox, media contributor, co-founder of the Annual New Jersey Hot Dog Tour and co-founder of Hot Dog Nation – the second largest Facebook page dedicated to hot dogs, will serve as Northeast regional Hot Dog Ambassador. Alan Swanke, creator of the New York City hot dog tour video, and Michael Thompson, Weenie Warrior and mentor to future Weenie Warriors, were chosen as regional runners-up.

Renowned meat diplomat and skilled social media expert Chris Crawford was selected to serve as Hot Dog Ambassador for the Southeast region. Southeast runners-up include hot dog advocate and social media influencer (#HotDogMandy) Mandy Brown, and Rebecca Swanson, third place national winner in Vienna Beef Hot Dog’s #1 Fan Competition.

Author of Gone to the Dogs: In Search of the Best Ballpark Hot Dog Tom Lohr will serve as the Southwest region’s Hot Dog Ambassador. Lohr previously embarked on two cross-country road trips, during which he sampled hot dogs at every Major League ballpark. Hot dog subject matter expert and former Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest judge Daniel Garcia, and Les Oszakiewski, annual Great Chicago Hot Dog tour participant, were named regional runners-up.

Last year’s grand prize winner of the NHDSC’s Hot Dog Comedy Contest and founder of the Annual Beeson Hot Dog Day Celebration, Sam Beeson was selected as the West’s regional Hot Dog Ambassador. Hot dog home chef Tonya Torres is the region’s runner-up.

In addition to the status that comes with the prestigious title, Hot Dog Ambassadors will receive an ID card that can be used for deals at NHDSC partner restaurants, a $100 gift card for their favorite hot dogs, a NHDSC Wiener Warrior t-shirt and other fun prizes. Runners-up for each region will receive NHDSC t-shirts, “I Love Hot Dogs” wristbands and other prizes.

The NHDSC has partnered with several iconic hot dog restaurants around the country who will offer deals to Ambassadors, includingPortillos,Papaya King andGray's Papaya in New York, Ben's Chili Bowl in Washington, DC and Superdawg in Chicago. A full list of partners can be found at www.hot-dog.org.

For more hot dog facts, culture and information, visitwww.hot-dog.org and the NHDSC’s Facebook page.

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