Kinship’s Amazing Race goes on in ‘social distancing edition’

The 14th Annual Amazing Race, a fundraiser for Richland-Wilkin Kinship, won't include the usual close contact among multiple teams. It will, however, include plenty of opportunities for teams to have outdoor fun and create memories for a community cause.

It’s still a race and it’s still amazing, as far as supporters are concerned.

Richland-Wilkin Kinship and Twin Towns Area residents want the public to know the 14th Annual Amazing Race isn’t being cancelled. An annual fundraiser in support of youth mentoring throughout the area, the Amazing Race is being held this year as a “social distancing edition” through Friday, June 5.

“We’ve got challenges this year that anyone can do,” Kinship Director Rebekah Christensen said. “They allow teams, whether they’re families, friends, work friends and more, to create memories. It’s also all still safe while we’re all still in social distancing mode.”

This year’s race includes eight challenges, most of which can be done outdoors. Christensen acknowledged that the new event isn’t exactly the same as the past races.

“We’ve taken away the direct competitive aspect this year. It opens up the race to families and teams that may not have considered taking part. Maybe it was because their kids were too young or they were unsure about the physical aspects. This year, the name of the game is convenience,” she said.

Teams can register at rwkinship.org/2020-race/. Any team may register with a minimum donation of $50. Donation notes must include the names of the team and its leader, the leader’s phone number and an email address. From there, Richland-Wilkin Kinship will send the teams the eight challenges to complete over the spring.

Once all eight challenges are completed, teams are asked to post a photo from each of the challenges in one post to their Facebook page. After uploading and using the hashtag #rwkinshiprace2020, they’re entered in Kinship’s prize drawings.

Teams can also email rwkinship@702com.net to let Kinship know they’ve completed all the challenges.

“Start now and go at your own pace,” Christensen said. “This will get you outside and creating safe, fun family memories. You’ll also help Kinship keep supporting kids and enriching their lives with mentors.”

Individuals who aren’t interested in participating, but still want to donate, can contact Kinship at the above email address. The 14th Annual Amazing Race is sponsored by Bremer Bank, Cargill, Smith Motors, Essentia Health, Econofoods, Norby Krueger and AgCountry Farm Credit Services.

“We are continuing to mentor kids who need support, encouragement and resilience now more than ever. Mentoring works. Mentoring is prevention,” Christensen said.

During the month of May, Kinship is creating care packages for mentored youth. Christensen reflected on how despite changes, the missions of the Amazing Race and Kinship itself continue.

“This is a great way to give back, to do something good when we’re all wondering, ‘Well, what can we do?’” she said. “I do believe there are some silver linings in these difficult circumstances that we’re in. It’s brought out the bad as much as the good, the good being attitudes of ‘How can I help? How can I support my neighbor?’ and ‘I’m able to slow down. We can just spend time together.’”

Organizers are hopeful that the 2021 Amazing Race will be a return to normal. But for now, they’re concerned with making a difference any way they can.

“We have all had to make sacrifices to help and support each other through this unprecedented time,” Christensen said. “We appreciate your understanding, resilient participation and determination to be the good. We are all in this together.”

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