Kinship's Amazing Chase raises funds through fun challenges
Eight teams raced, kicked, paddled and battled their way through 10 challenges for cash prizes and, most importantly, to raise funds for Kinship of the Park Rapids Area, a youth mentoring program.
Modeled after the popular TV show, Amazing Chase raised about $6,700 on Saturday.
Kinship Executive Director Rosy Hjermstad said all proceeds from the event, now in its eighth year, support Kinship programming.
For the second consecutive year, the Northwoods Bank team captured first place, earning 29 points and the $500 grand prize. They also received a $100 cash bonus for being one of three teams to fundraise the most money. The Citizens National Bank and the Park Rapids Rotary Club teams were the other two top fundraisers, winning $300 and $100 respectively in a bonus drawing.
Taking second place with 32 points was the 3M Wonewok team, comprising husband-wife duo Greg and Theresa Junkerquinn with children Jessie Brown and Kevin Cros.
The Junkerquinns have participated in the Amazing Chase for three years. Theresa said she particularly likes the competitive aspect.
"My son was also a Kinship kid, so I've been involved on and off a lot in Kinship, so this is fun for us to do," she said. "This was Kevin's first year. You can tell he's just having a blast."
The FATHER Project team came in third, with 42 points earned in the timed challenges.
Zack Johnson urged fellow Calvary Lutheran Church members to register for the Amazing Chase. First-time participants with Johnson were Larry and Renee Bexell and David Thomas.
"I asked the question at our Calvary men's group if we were going to have a team this year," Johnson said. "I've hung around Kinship a little bit and seen what it's all about. It's a great program. It really helps the kids, so that's what we're here for."
Kinship mentors and mentees didn't miss the chance for fun either. Two Kinship teams participated in this year's friendly competition.
A variety of challenges tested participants.
At the Hubbard County Law Enforcement Center, teams were required to price equipment used by the sheriff's office. Items ranged from a drone and bullet-proof vest to crime tape and a box of donuts. They were then asked to locate a road on the Hubbard County plat book, fingerprint each other and aim a laser dot for 10 seconds within a circle. As a bonus, they "filed a missing person report" and had to give an accurate description of Sheriff Cory Aukes' wife, Molly, who greeted the teams at the door.
At Delaney's Outdoors, teams counted all of the reels within the store. Tallies numbered over 1,400.
Competitors guided a blindfolded teammate as he or she stacked paper towels into a pyramid at Hugo's.
At Red Bridge Park, circumnavigated the Fish Hook River on a paddleboard or coracle, a small, rounded, lightweight boat. "The first manmade canoe was that shape," explained Water Sports Rental owner Stephanie Lippert.
They could exit the water at four different docks, but earned more points the farther they went.
This was Lippert's third year as a host. "The teams love it. It's something different than the other ones," she said of the water challenge.
Other host sites included Heartland Homes, Coborn's, Wildwood Enchantment, Park Rapids Fire Department, Northwoods Bank and Hubbard In Prevention.
All teams returned to Heartland Park for the finale, which included a trivia game ("Where have the Minnesota Governor Fishing Openers been held since 2009?"), a swimming noodle toss and soccer ball kick.