By Emily Williams
The Lakeshore Foundation is calling teams of four to test their strength and increase their awareness through its annual Amazing Race competition.
The June 3 event takes place at the foundation and is the largest fundraiser hosted by Lakeshore’s junior board.
Differing from the television show on which it is based, Lakeshore’s take has its teams compete in a variety of challenges that not only put their physical and mental skills to the test, but open their eyes to the challenges that a person with a physical disability faces every day.
In past years, the teams have had to play tennis in wheelchairs, kayak down the facility’s pool with only one arm or sprint down a track blindfolded and tethered slightly to a guide runner.
Serving on one of the teams representing event title sponsor Vulcan Materials Company, Denise Lynch of Hoover is looking forward to her third year participating.
Recruited by her co-worker Eric Hess, a member of Lakeshore’s junior board, Lynch said her first Amazing Race opened her eyes to the daily challenges caused by physical disabilities as well as the foundation’s programs.
“The competition really puts life into perspective and makes me realize how much I take for granted,” she said. “The challenges of the competition made me more aware of the physical limitations some people have while completing some of life’s simple daily tasks,” Lynch said.
One of the challenges she is looking forward to most is wheelchair basketball.
“We really worked as a team to complete that challenge,” Lynch said. “It sounds easy until you are actually sitting in a wheelchair trying to score a basket without any lower body strength.”
One of her most difficult hurdles in years past has been the rifle shooting challenge, in which the shooter is blindfolded and must use their sense of hearing to gauge how close they are to the target.
With no way to properly train and prepare for the challenges, her focus this year will be on completing all of the challenges and performing better than last year.
Race day will begin with registration at 8 a.m., and teams take on challenges from 9 a.m. until noon.
In addition to healthy competition, a post-race celebration will feature food, drinks, music and more. Local food trucks on site will include Off the Hook, Repicci’s Real Italian Ice and Slap Happy BBQ.
In addition, the grand prize of a Barons Hospitality Package will be given to the winning team, supplying members with a baseball experience for 20 people that includes refreshments, tickets, a welcome announcement and throwing the first pitch.