MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The fifth annual Best of the Beach Balls Meatball Challenge in Surfside brought out a crowd to taste and judge variations of meatball recipes.

Ten local restaurants participated in the event, which featured two winners. Mulberry Street Pizzeria took home the judge’s choice award for best meatball on the beach, while Old Chicago Pizza and Taproom earned the people’s choice award.

News13 photo: Adriana Cotero

The fun event included a Surfside Beach Mayoral meatball eating challenge primary that David Pelligrino won, and this friendly competition is all for a good cause.

Becky Large, the executive director of Champion Autism Network, said fundraising is important for any nonprofit group.

“Champion Autism Network, we serve families living with autism and we have been doing this for ten years and now as our people are aging, we need to get new programs for our oldest,” Large said. “So, the funds here are going to go to create new programs for our oldest.”

The Champion Autism Network’s goal was to reach $20,000 with this event. Large said they had a great turnout, especially because there was an instant audience from other big events happening nearby.

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Adriana Cotero is News13’s weekend evening anchor and a morning reporter. She joined the team in July 2023 after working in the island of Guam. Adriana is from Saline, Michigan, and graduated from Central Michigan University. Follow Adriana on Facebook, X, formerly Twitter, and Instagram and read more of her work here