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Niagara Falls
Friday, July 12, 2024
Amazing Race Niagara raises $24,000 for Kristen French centre


More than 80 people gathered at Polonia Park on York Road on Sunday to take part in the annual Amazing Race Niagara competition.

The event is a car rally and a scavenger hunt in which teams of four travel across Niagara Region, complete various tasks and receive clues for the next location.

The race is organized by the Kristen French Child Advocacy Centre Niagara, a non-profit organization which provides help to children and youth who have experienced abuse.

With a record 21 teams participating this year, the race started and ended at NOTL’s Polonia Park on Sept. 8. Teams could also dress up in costumes and decorate their vehicles. 

There were five locations and four pit stops for the race, which took about five hours to complete. The locations and the nature of activities are kept secret ahead of time and teams must solve the clues to advance to the next location.

This year, some of the activities included iPad trivia about various cars shown in movies and TV shows, a balloon toss challenge, having a chocolate tasting at Chocolate F/X in St. Davids and identifying its mystery ingredients, and a virtual reality demo in St. Catharines.

Teams with the most points completed in the quickest time are chosen as the top three winners, said Susanne McCarroll, resources development co-ordinator at the child advocacy centre. 

This year’s champion teams were the Sullivan Mah-azing Racers, representing the Sullivan Mahoney law firm, runner-up Are We There Yet?, which consisted of two couples, and third-place finisher the Sassasaurousrex team, representing CAA Niagara.

“It’s about the best you can be in the quickest time,” McCarroll said.

Prizes for the best-decorated team and the best-decorated vehicle went to The Wild Ones, a team of two couples.

All proceeds from the race go to the Kristen French centre. Last year, participants raised about $26,000. This year’s total was more than $24,000.

Contestants paid $25 to register and they also had to raise at least $400 in pledges in order to enter the race.

The race committee has spent 10 months preparing for the event from finding locations and working with sponsors to determining the activities and making sure they’re safe, McCarroll said.

“But it’s a lot of fun,” she told The Lake Report. “It’s a great event … And we’re so happy to have so many people who truly love being out here and helping us today. And they put a lot of effort into gathering pledges and we’re so thankful.”

For one of the competitive groups, the Captain Americana team, from the Americana Conference Resort in Niagara Falls, it was the first time participating in the race.

“The Kristen French Centre and everything else surrounding it is very near and dear to our hearts, and something we all find very, very important and wanted to contribute to this cause,” said Erin Brown, sales manager at the hotel, adding as the centre will hold its Spotlight Gala at the Americana hotel in October, the team wanted to give back by participating in the race.

Members of another team, Technologically Hip, said they participate every year. The team’s name came from their love of music and technology.

“We love, love doing this,” said Tara Mallett. “And we love the cause, we love raising money for the foundation and it’s a fun day. It’s fantastic.”

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