More Than 100,000 Hot Dogs Eaten to Benefit CF Research

June 27, 2007

As the crowd waited to catch a glimpse of legendary sportswriter Frank Deford and other athletes and politicians from the Boston area, a buzz charged the air. At 8 a.m. on June 3, radio and TV announcers began their live broadcast of the Massachusetts/Rhode Island Chapter’s Eddie Andelman’s 18th Annual Hot Dog Safari from Boston’s famous racetrack Suffolk Downs.

Hot Dog Safari
Event chair and radio sportscaster Eddie Andelman (center) and Foundation leader Joe O'Donnell discuss the Hot Dog Safari with Comcast CN8.

For many, a hot dog safari may seem like an odd name for a CF fund-raiser, but the event has grown tremendously. As the story goes, in 1990, nationally syndicated sports radio personality Eddie Andelman asked his audience to pick the best hot dogs. As nominations came pouring in, he decided to take 200 listeners on a bus tour—dubbed the hot dog safari—in hot pursuit of the greatest hot dogs.

Having seen the children of Foundation leaders Joe O’Donnell and Frank Deford battle the disease, Andelman chose to donate ticket sales to CF research. Eighteen years later, 200 hot dog samplers have expanded to more than 20,000 attendees.

These days, the event no longer limits the food to just hot dogs—although more than 100,000, served by the Massachusetts ROTC, are consumed in a single day. Andelman, John Doran, 1510 The Zone and Comcast CN8 provide all-day coverage of the popular event as guests take in nine live horse races, participate in hot dog eating contests and enjoy family-friendly activities.

The new owner of Suffolk Downs, Richard Fields, made an extraordinary gift to the Foundation that made this year’s Hot Dog Safari one for the record books. He generously offered to match the entire event’s proceeds and helped the Hot Dog Safari raise an astounding $475,000.

Special thanks to corporate sponsors Sovereign Bank and 1510 The Zone; event chair Eddie Andelman; and volunteers Jo Ellen Coen, Michael Trubenbacher, Phil Touchette, Anthony Pepe, Brian Harrison and family, and Christina Teja.