published: Sunday, July 01, 2012
Amazing Race brings out interesting teams
By ED BALDRIDGE
SEBRING -- Ten teams from around Highlands County assembled Saturday morning to face both physical and mental challenges during the start of the Children's Museum of Highlands' thirrd annual Amazing Race.
The first challenge -- make s'mores at the Girl Scout House.
"Well, I think we will actually raise about $2,000 this year," organizer Linda Crowder said about the fundraising event.
The competition has grown stiffer since its creation and five-team start three years ago, but it was not without substitutes this year. One team, the self-proclaimed pistol-packing, stretcher-pushing team of Think Positive, withdrew completely for unknown reasons.
Team Dressel, composed of the brains and beauty of Kelly Dressel and her driver, Scott, were the only veterans returning this year.
First out the door with the second challenge after their five-high s'more-stacking accomplishment, Team Umizoomi said they looked for matching shirts before arriving at the Girl Scout House that morning.
"Umm, our 3-year-old son Kaeden picked the name; I'm not sure what it means," said Umizoomi leader Lizzie Wacaster.
Wacaster and her teammate and life-partner, Keith, whose s'more skills got them on the road first, said the couple met six years ago when his company crushed her parents' fence.
"We made hats," Pam Dacarata said of team Yacarata when asked what they did to prepare for the day of grueling challenges.
Susie Bishop, local candidate for Supervisor of Elections and co-captain of Team Go-Getters, said her life-long residence prepared her for Saturday's race.
Bishop's driver, Jennifer Waltman, was said to have picked Bishop over her own husband, Chuck Waltman, because of Bishop's knowledge and expertise in all things Highlands County.
Chuck Waltman and his partner, Chris Mellow, were last minute substitutes for Team Homes by Handley, but showed their prowess at the first challenge by squishing the marshmallows, one of the key ingredients in s'mores, with their shoes.
Although Palm Estates Warriors Rich Appenzeller and Matt Baker finished last in the s'more challenge, both had tenacious goals for the day.
Brooks for Highlands County, which consisted of County Commission candidate Jim Brooks and Sebring Councilman Andrew Fells, knew the competition was stiff, but had no idea the s'more challenge would test their eye-hand coordination and physical abilities.
"Judge," Fells yelled when their stack of grams and chocolate stood for a count of five.
The D&D Duo of Laura Ammann and Robert Chaney had definite plans for the $500 first place cash prize.
Last minute substitute Meghan Williams for team Mommanators seemed sleepy at first, but quickly stacked s'mores.
"She's not a mom," said team member Mary Beth Przyshocki.
The race consists of teams of two who have to race around the county following clues to solve 16 challenges and then return within an allotted time window.
The teams have to raise $100 each to register for the competition; the proceeds go to help support the Museum throughout the year.
Second place wins $150 cash and third takes home $75.
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