Peters Clam Eating Contest Raises 25k For Beyond the Badge

Aug 13, 2023 | In The News, Long Island Venues, Peters Clam Bar

Peter’s Clam Bar, located in Island Park on Long Beach Road, hosted it’s annual clam-eating contest on Sunday, August 13th, 2023. This year, the event raised about $25,000, which will go to Beyond the Badge New York, an organization that supports those with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, and mental health care for first responders.

Two contests were held at the event: the public challenge and the first responders’ challenge. The first responders’ challenge required no entry fee, but contestants must be firefighters, police, EMS or emergency managers. Cash prizes from that contest are split between the first responder’s home agency and that year’s charity. This year, Pete Adams won $2,500 for first place for Island Park Fire Department after eating 174 clams in seven minutes. The open public challenge requires a $50 entry fee and the cash prizes, go directly to the winner.

The contestants include competitive eaters from as far away as Florida. Joe Merchetti from Cheshire, Conn. won $1,000 for first place this year after eating 151 clams in five minutes. “There’s no better feeling in the world,” Merchetti said.

Butch Yamali, owner of Peter’s Clam Bar, donates the $6,250 in winnings and the thousands of clams needed.

In recent years, proceeds have gone to the Nassau County Firefighter Burns Center and the Nassau County Firefighters Museum and Education Center. Proceeds from last year’s contest went to Cooper Graham, the Oceanside Fire Department commissioner’s young son, who developed a rare form of juvenile cancer.

Yamali said it’s the biggest clam-eating contest in the northeast. “It’s sloppy, too — a lot of people, with clams all over the place,” Yamali said. “It’s a lot of fun.”

Read the full article on the Herald here.