Last weekend marked Family Fun Weekend’s twelfth year in West Montrose. On Saturday the Grand River Amazing Race consisted of 32 teams and raised $42,435 in pledges for four different causes, bringing them just a short of doubling the amount raised by 25 teams last year.“That‘s without selling one carnival pass, without selling a hotdog or a silent auction. That’s just the racer’s pledges online prior to the event. We hope to gross close to $60,000,” said Kin Club of Woolwich president Bill McBay during the race.
By the time kitchens closed that night, the gross total from the Family Fun Weekend and the Amazing Race came to $59,841.
Running alongside the Family Fun Weekend at the West Montrose Family Camp, a majority of racers collected funds for Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region, but the Family and Counselling Centre of Cambridge and North Dumfries, the Kissing Bridge Trail Association and Woolwich Community Services were also represented. Racers ended the competition with a number of activities. Teams of two pulled their canoes to shore before entering the last stages of the competition. They then ran through an obstacle course of tangled string carrying water glasses and slid down a soapy slip and slide before entering the home stretch.
A boost in the number of volunteers seems to have put the event on the radars of bigger companies, and McBay was happy to see that this year marked a rise in corporate sponsorship of the event. As a result, racers not only raised pledge money online but also received corporate money for wearing company logos during the race.
“I’m pretty excited to look back and see where it’s come from. To see all of the corporate names is amazing. Companies are seeing now that this is a viable event to come out and promote their staff and their staff’s families. The whole idea is to get families out here and to see them having fun, and now corporations are starting to see that. We have a couple of companies that are using our event as their company family barbeque picnic and we invoice them at the end of the night based on how many people show up,” McBay said.
Last year’s Amazing Race volunteers were largely made up of the Kin Club committee acquaintances. This time around McBay explains the organization has taken greater strides to promote the event to all members of the local community and it seems two teams have tied for this year’s grand prize. Having both raised $7,200 in pledges the two teams get to spend a weekend in comfortable trailers that come complete with hot tubs.
The Family Fun Weekend included the usual children’s’ carnival rides, food stations and a stage for local musicians. Saturday’s event featured a lineup of youth performers playing either solo or as a band. New food items were available as well and McBay says additions to the event’s menu were worth losing a few hours of sleep over:
“The whole internal workings of the race are different every year. We added French fries to our menu and we added breakfast. I was out flipping bacon this morning at 6 a.m. and doing some French fries at midnight last night. Those two items have helped make it something for everybody.”