Family Promise: Bed racers had unique designs
by DELANEY WALKER Banner Staff Writer
Oct 13, 2013 | 1196 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bed Race
DON LEDFORD Automotive Center’s team takes off with a slight lead over the Title Bucks Girls Saturday afternoon at the third annual Family Promise Bed Race. Banner photo, DELANEY WALKER
view slideshow (6 images)
Community supporters showed up to cheer on the teams going mattress to mattress in the third annual Family Promise Bed Race held Saturday afternoon.

Six teams were present to compete for the prestigious honors of Best Decorated Bed and Fastest Bed. The categories were split between church and community and businesses.

Event coordinator Diana Whittle explained five beds were forced to drop out due to the rescheduling of dates caused by a rain day.

Saturday’s blue, sunny skies proved the show would go on.

“Even though we only had six beds in the race today, we really appreciate everyone’s involvement in our mission of helping families regain housing and find jobs,” said Alan Winter, Family Promise board president. “It was very successful — with much better weather.”

Don Ledford Automotive Center employees left their competitors eating dust as they blazed through the track on their orange ride.

The crew, made up of Derek Cunningham, Jay Bailey, Josh Lastra, Misty Jackson and T.J. Harness, took home medals for the fastest bed.

The brains behind the build were Mike Brzezowski and Steve Prendergast. Both worked on the bed for five days for a total of 15 hours. Prendergast said he researched the beds from other races to get an idea of what would work.

“We had no idea what we were going up against,” Prendergast said.

Team leader Julie Harness said the experience was great.

“We had a lot of fun, and we are glad to support Family Promise,” Harness said. “They are an awesome organization that helps out Bradley County.”

Debbie Melton showed up to support the team. She said she believes in the ministry work being completed by the local nonprofit.

“They are an outstanding organization in our community that really helps people,” Melton said. “Part of our core values is the heart of service, and we want to support them in their efforts to help people.”

She described the bed race as a team-building activity for the whole organization.

“They got really fired up, and it was really fun today because they were going around saying, ‘We didn’t do all of this to lose,’” Melton laughed. “Not only have we helped raise money for an organization that is just incredible, but we have built our team stronger too.”

Community support for the event skyrocketed in spite of the schedule change. Winter explained the second annual Bed Race held at the Bradley Square Mall mustered five supporters and two vendors.

Saturday’s events saw upward of 80 supporters, not including vendors, the Cowboy Church band, volunteers, teams and workers.

Whittle said 65 door prizes were given out over the course of the event. She explained the prizes were donated from many restaurants and businesses in the community.

Winter added his thanks to everyone who helped make the event a success.

All of the beds showed up with their own unique designs.

“They really went all out on the beds,” Whittle said. “That was awesome.”

Best Decorated Bed in the business sector went to SkyRidge Imaging for a second year in a row. The medical crew began brainstorming their design in mid-summer. According to team member Rick Bergstrom, their goal was to incorporate both SkyRidge Imaging and homes. The result was a “Wizard of Oz” themed gurney.

Team members dressed up as the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow, Dorothy, the Wicked Witch of the West and the Tin Man. On top of the gurney sat a small white house with the Wicked Witch of the East’s striped stocking-clad legs sticking out. Bergstrom, Patty Palmer, Laurel Haas, Sherrie Watts, and Carol Hoops made up the team.

“We are doing this to support Family Promise,” Bergstrom said. “We are hoping to help get the word out to the community through something fun, because it is all for the families.”

Team SkyRidge Imaging said they were up for trying to continue their winning streak into the fourth annual Family Promise Bed Race next year.

A team of Family Promise supports won best decorated for there church and community division.

The youth group from Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church received best speed for the community and church group. They lost in a final race with Don Ledford Automotive Center’s team.

Teams included in the race were Title Bucks, Wesley Memorial United Methodist youth group, North Cleveland Baptist Church, a Family Promise bed, SkyRidge Imaging and Don Ledford Automotive Center.

Everyone appeared to be in good spirits.

Winter, Whittle and Eva VanHook, Family Promise director, said they had learned much from the third annual event.

VanHook said preparations would start earlier, possibly even January of 2014. She also expressed an interest in igniting interest in the competition amongst local law enforcement and fire fighters.

“Thank you, everyone, for coming out,” VanHook said.