By LISA CAPOBIANCO
The Wheeler YMCA plans to kick off its 5th Annual O’Mazing Race this weekend to benefit its Annual Campaign.
A two-hour scavenger hunt with a theme of St. Patrick’s Day, the O’Mazing Race provides a night of entertainment, including a wrap-up party with a silent auction and raffle, which will also benefit the YMCA Annual Campaign. All funds raised will directly benefit the LIVESTRONG program, which is a 12-week program that helps cancer survivors overcome the effects of fatigue and deconditioning from treatment. Funds also will benefit First Wave, which offers swimming lessons to first graders in the YMCA’s service area.
During the scavenger hunt, teams of four will walk, run and drive to complete tasks while scoring points to win. From collecting random items to taking pictures of friends to creating videos, teams will perform as many tasks as they can within a two hour period. Each task is assigned a certain number of points, and the team with the highest points wins.
Business Manager Erica Donovan said that last year at least 24 teams competed, and the YMCA raised about $15,000 from the event. This year the goal is $20,000 with at least 27 teams competing.
“It’s gotten bigger every year,” said Donovan, adding participants do not have be in the best athletic shape for the race. “There’s nothing else locally like this.”
YMCA Nutritionist Andrea Buono said she feels ready for this year’s O’Mazing Race. Last year, her team, the Dunnewood Danes, won. A participant of the event for three years now, Buono will return with her new team, the “Twerkers.”
Between writing in ketchup on pavement and collecting wine corks, Buono said she looks forward to the race because of the creativity it offers participants when completing various tasks. As a runner, Buono added the event gives her an opportunity to have fun without being too competitive.
“That’s the attraction to it—you can do nothing wrong and still have fun,” said Buono, adding she also looks forward to the silent auction, which will have items such as a hand-made quilt, sports memorabilia baskets and more.
Buono added she also looks forward to the race to benefit children and cancer survivors.
“That’s really what it is all about,” she said.
The O’Mazing Race will take place Saturday, March 15 at 4:45 p.m. at the Farmington Senior & Community Center in Farmington. Registration will remain open until 10 p.m. Thursday, March 13, and costs $200 for a team of four. Teams can register at the Wheeler YMCA, 149 Farmington Ave., Plainville. Participants must be age 21 and over.
Comments? Email lcapobianco@SouthingtonObserver.com.