WALLA WALLA — The first Awesome Race fundraiser went to the Walla Walla Rollergirls, who raised $1,125 for the YMCA’s Sustain The Youth program.
“I just wasn’t expecting how much fun it was. It was just such a blast. They actually told us to make sure we didn’t have queasy stomachs. So I though I was going to have to eat something that wasn’t so great,” Rollergirl Raquel Stapleton said.
Rollergirl Tiffany Struthers was the other team member; together they beat 29 other two-persons teams who started their first challenge around 8 a.m. Saturday at Land Title Plaza.
The challenges included a wide variety of activities sponsored by businesses.
At Book & Game, teams were required to alphabetize a shelf of books by the authors’ last names.
Among the contestants was Book & Game co-owner Jannelle Bruns, and she did not have any advantage.
“I will have you know alphabetizing is not my strong point here,” Bruns said, as she waited for Awesome Race judge Emily Reeves to review her team’s work.
It didn’t matter that Reeves also works at Book & Game; she still found flaws in her bosses alphabetizing.
Other challenges included frosting cupcakes, silk screening T-shirts, painting ceramic tiles and a difficult equation to solve at Va Piano vineyard.
“That was the hardest one. We had to find the next clue, which was taped to one of the rows of grapes in the vineyard. And then they wanted to know how many gallons of wine are in a barrel,” Stapleton said.
In the end, it was a fondness for frozen yogurt that allowed the Rollergirls team to take the lead.
Stapleton is a regular at Blue Palm Frozen Yogurt, where contestants were required to taste and then match flavors of frozen yogurt with their names.
“So I did the taste testing and that is where we stole the game,” Stapleton said.
The Awesome Race was organized by The Sweet Putt and included 16 local businesses, each of which came up with its own challenge.
“I was brainstorming with a friend in town with finding ways to get people through the door because we are a business,” said Sweet Putt co-owner Juli Dunn, adding that she also wanted to support local charities.
Saturday’s Awesome Race also raised hundreds of dollars for Walla Walla Community Hospice, Books for Babes, Camp Fire USA Walla Walla, the Carnegie Picture Lab and the Christian Aid Center.