2017 Day of Caring

Lake Area United Way's annual Day of Caring on Sept. 8 brings Lake Area United Way volunteers from area businesses and organizations to help out nonprofits with projects that require help to complete. "With the support of the companies, the employee/volunteers go out and complete a variety of projects," said Lisa Smith, executive director of Lake Area United Way. Projects range from small painting and organization duties to constructing playhouses to be auctioned off. "Volunteers look forward to this event, and the nonprofits love getting projects done that may not have been completed otherwise," Smith said. Companies love to have employees participate in support of their community, because it is a team-building exercise that creates a positive experience for the employees, she said.

Two days after the Day of Caring, Lake Area United Way hosts their Race for Change event. "The Race for Change is an obstacle course-themed event where teams of two-to-four people can register to compete against one another in a variety of categories," Smith said. Terry Beutelschies, outreach coordinator for the LAUW, said one of the obstacles in Race for Change is called Toxic Rampage. "It's an inflatable obstacle course that has a number of challenges like battering rams," Beutelschies said. But, she added, nothing toxic is involved. Another challenge on the course will be getting through the Snuffaluffagus Struggle. "In the Snuffaluffagus Struggle, people put hosiery on their heads with a tennis ball at the top and then try to knock over water bottles with the ball on their head," Beutelschies said. "The whole event should be hilarious." Smith said the timed course will feature other obstacles like wacky hurdles, stretcher races, tiny tricycle races and more. Registration for teams was $15 per person with registration ending Friday. For information visit www.lakeareaunitedway.org/2017-race-for-change. Beutelschies said the Race for Change is loosely based on the popular television shows "The Amazing Race" and "Survivor." The event is meant to be fun and challenging while helping members of organizations build teamwork."It's all relative to how a community struggles to work together," she said. "The only way we can make change happen is by working together." Seven teams have already confirmed their participation but there is room for plenty more, Beutelschies said. "We're also going to have a junior division for kids ages 12 through 17," she said. In addition to participants in that age group registering, they will also need parental consent.

The UW 2017 community campaign event is free, open to the public and will be held beginning at 1 p.m. on Sept. 10, at Indian Bowl, 402. N. S St.
"Spectators are invited to view the race, cheer on their favorite team, learn more about Lake Area United Way and their community partners and enjoy a variety of food trucks," Smith said.
Mike Elswick at (918) 684-2954 or melswick@muskogeephoenix.com.