The University of South Florida Bulls football team defeated the University of Illinois Fighting Illini 47-23 on Friday, September 15th in Tampa, but the biggest winners were those affected by Hurricane Irma. With the game steadily in hand midway through the third quarter, the real drama on the field began when Portillo’s CEO and University of Illinois alumnus, Keith Kinsey, challenged two University of South Florida students to a race while wearing hot dog costumes.
As USF students Grace Hoyte and Jose Lopez put on their hot dog costumes, the competitive juices began flowing when Kinsey, donning the double cheeseburger outfit, announced that the winner of the race would be receiving a year’s worth of Portillo’s, with the runner up receiving $200 in gift cards.
With the student section buzzing and the runners lined up on one sideline ready to race, the stadium announcer declared that Portillo’s would be donating $5,000 to the Red Cross for Hurricane Irma relief efforts. However, the crowd turned into a frenzy as it was announced that Kinsey would double the contribution to $10,000 if any of the students could defeat him.
The runners took off, with Lopez finishing first and Hoyte coming in second. Proclaimed Lopez: “I love Portillo’s! When they announced I could win a year’s worth of Portillo’s, I knew I had to win that race.”
Although Kinsey and his alma mater did not prevail that evening, his smile was bigger than ever knowing he just “ran with the Bulls,” all while helping out the USF and Tampa Bay communities on behalf of Portillo’s.
Portillo’s is proud to donate $10,000 to the American Red Cross to help those affected by Hurricane Irma.
Photo courtesy of the University of South Florida.