Tuesday, June 15, 2010 • Amazing race contestants raise money for charity

Publisher’s note: This story originally appeared in the Tuesday, June 15, 2010, edition of the Lassen County Times.

A new and exciting event is coming to the Lassen County Fair this year.

Incorporating this year’s theme “An Amazing Race in an Outdoor Place,” the fair holds its own Amazing Race.

The Lassen County Fair has announced the five teams that  will be competing in the event and raising money for a local charity of their choice.

Fair week will be held Wednesday, July 21 through Sunday, July 25. In the weeks leading up to fair week, the Lassen County Times will be profiling each team.

Amazing Race contestants and their charities are: Nancy La Salle and Carrie Sulak — The Lassen County Humane Society; Tina Bronaugh and Marcy McCown — Lassen Football Boosters;  Lindsey Smith and Bobby Bush — Bikers Against Child Abuse; Eric Davis and Ngirmang Yaoch — Veterans of Foreign Wars and Danielle Miller and Ben Burke — Salvation Army.

Contestants will check in on Wednesday, July 21 and will be stripped of money and electronic devices. The teams will be camping at the fair and are required to eat only fair food.

Lassen County Fair Business Assistant Melissa Blosser said the winners will win up to $1,000 — half of the money will go to the winning team’s charity and the team can keep the other portion of the money pot.

Blosser said the fair stressed that the teams choose local charities, but it could be a national charity with a local chapter.

The winning team will be determined by points. Each day, contestants will be participating in competitions such as a timed scavenger hunt, cleaning out animal pens, an eating contest, picking up the most trash and performing in the KSUE/KJDX Country Showdown.

Each team will be assigned a color and be given T-shirts. Contestants will be given extra points if people wearing their team color show up to watch the competitions.

Blosser said people will be counting how many spectators are in attendance for each team, as well as watching the contestants throughout the week.

Teams will also be given a list of items in which they can earn extra points. If a specified person catches a team doing one of the items, the team gets more points.

Blosser said, Tim Bruce, fair board member and Amazing Race chairperson, has been raising the most funds for the winning contestants. The California Department of Corrections and Lassen County Board of Supervisor members have kicked in money for the event.

The fair is still looking for those interested in donating money to the Amazing Race contest.

Blosser said the more money people give, the more money that will be given to charities.

According to Blosser, the Amazing Race idea was spun off of a Survivor competition held at the Amador County Fair in 2009.

The contestants will be bringing their own tents, which they have to decorate, and the contestants will have to figure out how to get food.

Nancy La Salle and Carrie Sulak
Described on the Lassen County Fair website as “adventurous, competitive, funny, sneaky, smart, entertaining, dedicated to having a positive attitude,” Nancy La Salle and Carrie Sulak are sure to be fun to watch compete in the Amazing Race.

Joking and laughing together, the ladies said fun, challenging competition is the reasons they applied to be Amazing Race contestants.

“I think it’s going to be so much fun,” Sulak said.

Most importantly, if they win, La Salle said they will be giving money to their charity — The Lassen County Human Society.

La Salle said choosing their charity was a no-brainer, “We’re very passionate about animals.”

La Salle, who is Sulak’s boss, said Sulak had told her about the Amazing Race show on CBS, but she had never seen it.

According to Sulak, it was La Salle’s idea to enter the competition.

“I’m always up for a competition,” La Salle said.

Camping at the fairgrounds is not daunting to the women, but eating fair food all week might be a snag for Sulak who said she is a vegetarian.

“It’s going to be hard for me,” she said.

Then she added with a laugh that she could starve for five days.

Before they were interviewed by a selection committee, the women read through a list of proposed competitions and already started forming their strategies.

La Salle said they would like to raise more money for their charity. Sulak said they would like to have large crowds come out and donate money.

“And adopt animals while they’re at it,” she said.