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Making plans for another amazing race

Building on the success of last year’s Grand River Amazing Race, organizers of the event plan to make it bigger and better in its second year. Based on the popular television show, the Grand River Amazing Race includes teams of two or three who set out from West Montrose down the Grand River and surrounding area, working through different challenges along the route.

Race designers Leanne Husk and Siobhan Furst have created an in-depth and challenging course and expect this year’s participants will be “blown away” by what’s in store. Contestants should not expect any details just yet as information about the race is very confidential.

“It is a lot like the television show: there will be pit stops, fast forwards, and challenges,” said Bill McBay, Family Fun Weekend committee chairperson. “The best way to describe it is the Amazing Race meets Survivor, and it is going to be very challenging.”

The race is pledge-based with each team requiring a minimum of $150 to enter. Teams will get different experiences based on how much money they raise.

Organizers have included pledge incentives for participants. A team that raises $300 will have access to a canoe for the race, which they will want, as they must navigate across the river. Collecting $550 gives contestants a race advantage card; $800 provides them with a map; $1,000 gives the team a route map with all the bonus and challenge locations identified and new this year for $2,500 the team will have their own personal race butler. The butler acts like a race caddy with knowledge of the race and will carry the contestant’s personal gear.

There are numerous prizes to be won, including best dressed, team spirit and overall time winners. The team with the highest pledges raised will have the use of a luxury trailer on site for the entire weekend.

Last year the race brought in $22,000 to support Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region. This year organizers are hoping to more than double that amount anticipating over $40,000 will be raised. Contestants will have the option of more than one charity to donate to this year as organizers have included Woolwich Community Services, Kissing Bridge Trail Way and the Family and Children Services of Cambridge and North Dumfries along with the women’s shelters.

Last year the race saw 25 teams participate and organizers are expecting between 50 and 55 teams this year.

“The race really caught on this year and we already have 19 teams signed up,” said McBay. “It’s a unique approach to fundraising and people are pumped to participate in support of such a worthwhile organization.”

The Grand River Amazing Race takes place Saturday July 21 and is part of an event called the Family Fun Weekend held in West Montrose July 20 and 21.

The Family Fun Weekend had its best year ever in 2011 with the addition of The Grand River Amazing Race. The weekend was filled with everything from outdoor movies, midway, carnival games and live entertainment on an outdoor stage.
For more information visit the website www.familyfunweekend.ca.

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