And it will have nothing to do with rest.
We refer, of course, to the second annual Family Promise Bed Race, a festive fundraiser for a community organization that is seeking to make a difference in the lives of those who frankly are in dire need of a helping hand and a family outreach.
They are the homeless.
Family Promise offers that hand and provides this invaluable outreach. But the organization does not perform these humanitarian feats alone. It partners with several churches in our Cleveland and Bradley County community to give homeless families a place to stay overnight while working with them during the day to find gainful employment and to assure the children are fed and have access to a formal education.
Since its inception a year ago, Family Promise has worked with 10 homeless families. Of these 40 family members who received assistance, 25 were children and 18 were age 5 and younger.
Most mid-size to large cities now face problems of homelessness. Our hometown is no exception. It is a serious issue which organizations like Family Promise, the Cleveland Emergency Shelter and others are working to address. But it requires funding and community partnerships.
Thankfully, we have both locally. But it comes with hard work.
Fundraising is a difficult task for most nonprofit organizations because only so many charitable dollars are available for a growing number of social services. For this reason, civic groups with a flare for creativity and sense of innovation could find themselves among the most successful in raising funds.
A bed race stacks up against most for its sense of ... adventure.
Last year in its inaugural roll, the Family Promise Bed Race offered only the adult event. This year, its planners’ creative juices have flowed into overtime.
The main bed race is open to five-person teams of individuals age 15 and older. Registration fee is $100 or $20 per team member.
But, now the kiddies can get involved.
In this year’s event, a junior bed race is being offered in which children can decorate a wagon or a stroller to participate in races. Also, children age 6 and under will be allowed to enter a pillow sack race. Entry fee for the junior bed race is $10. Entry fee for the pillow sack race is $5.
For anyone who could possibly have forgotten, last year’s main bed race winner was a team of students from Lee University whose creative bed was themed “Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Nyquil.” This year’s field promises to grow to king size judging from the level of interest so far.
Family Promise encourages participants to register by Friday. Those who do will earn a Family Promise Bed Race T-shirt. Otherwise, registration on the day of the event will begin at 11 a.m. The children’s sack race will get under way at 11:30 a.m. Best-theme judging will begin at noon and the junior bed race will start at 12:30 p.m. The afternoon of bed ... rest ... concludes at 1 p.m. with the start of the adult bed race.
On tap to perform some live music will be the Cowboy Church Band. Craft booths will be available for $20.
Set for the Bradley Square Mall, the adult bed race will include a 175-yard straight course. Bed creations must meet some size standards — nothing smaller than 3 feet by 6 feet, and nothing bigger than 6-by-8 feet. The beds must use a standard mattress (no air mattresses), four wheels and cannot be motorized.
Registration may be completed on the Family Promise website at www.familypromisebradley.org. Otherwise, contact Jean Straussberger for more information at 650-9043 or firstname.lastname@example.org.