By CRISTINA JANNEY
Whether it was fighting a brain freeze while eating a snow cone, gingerly building a house of cards or relearning how to ride a tricycle, teams were out to win for a good cause Saturday during First Call for Help’s Amazing Race.
Seven teams of four took to the streets of Hays on Saturday morning to decipher clues and overcome challenges to raise money for the First Call for Help.
The Ellis County Sheriff’s Department’s team — Even Troopers Need Heroes — won the race with a time of 2:03:33. The name for the team was a jab at rival team, the Kansas Highway Patrol troopers.
Brian Shannon of the Ellis County Sheriff’s Department said the escape room at A2Z Escape was the most difficult challenge in the race. The team had to figure out how to unlock a series of locks. Shannon said he had the most fun at Centennial Lanes, where the team had to bowl granny-style wearing cotton winter gloves. The team was required to knock down 50 pins. They finished that challenge fairly quickly, despite the handicap of the slick gloves.
“We try to do a couple of these a year. This is the first time we’ve done it, and we thought it would be pretty fun. We put it together and went out and got some donations,” Shannon said.
The team raised $300 for the cause. Shannon said he thought the team worked well together and that was the secret to their success.
Sheriff’s Det. Brad Ricke said, “We had an enjoyable time, and it was fun seeing all the other different teams that are here. We have an attorney team here and another law enforcement team here and teams from Fort Hays. It created a lot of competition, and it’s a fun competition because everyone wants to be first. Everyone wants to get a little bit of ahead of the other team, but in the end, everyone is having a great time and sharing in the same great experience for all of us.”
SkyWest’s Lost Articles team won best costume. The team came in baggage handler safety vests and ear protection.
The largest fundraiser was the Kiwanis Club, which sponsored its own group as well as two other groups of sorority members and members of the FHSU football team.
“We at Kiwanis are definitely trying to let the community know that we are involved in the community. We do things in the community especially related to kids and families, so it was a great way to sponsor some teams and get more people involved. First Call for Help got some money also those teams were introduced to Kiwanis and what they do in the community,” said Kiwanis team member Michele Springer.
Springer said stacking cards at The Gamers Guild and riding a tricycle in an obstacle course at Big Creek Crossing were the most difficult challenges.
Sami Montgomery with the Sigma Sigma Sigma team encouraged others students to participate in the Amazing Race in the future. She said students can find sponsors as their team did this year with the Kiwanis.
“It is a real good way to get Fort Hays out into the community,” she said. “I know a lot of people don’t see that. In Greek life, not a lot of people see what we do. We not only helped a good cause like First Call for Help, but it also helped us get our name out there.”
Among the other challenges was a public service project. The team members helped paint sections of a wall in First Call for Help’s new building on 13th Street.
The money raised from the Amazing Race will go to a fund that will help local residents with rent and utility needs.
“I thought it was a really fun event. We had seven teams participate, and they did a good job for our emergency crisis fund to help Ellis County residents in need,” Laura Shoaff of First Call for Help and event organizer said.
Shoaff said she the amount raised has yet to be totaled.