A local organization will take advantage of Wheeling's history and attractions to raise money this summer.
Plans are in the works for the new fundraising event, spearheaded by Carpet Showcase Flooring Center. The event - called Challenge Wheeling - will be a scavenger race held June 21 throughout the downtown Wheeling area. Proceeds will benefit Youth Services System.
"Youth Services System is a wonderful organization and a great asset to our community," said Michael Contraguerro Sr., owner of Carpet Showcase Flooring Center.
Both Carpet Showcase Flooring Center and YSS are celebrating 40 years in the community this year.
"What better way to celebrate our 40th anniversary than with a new fundraiser raising money for an organization that has also seen success over the past 40 years," he said.
YSS provides a number of services to kids, families and youth, according to YSS Executive Director John Moses. He said the organization has been very fortunate that the community has embraced its mission.
Teams of two or more people will have three hours to follow clues during the fundraiser that is part race, part scavenger hunt and part urban exploration. Challenges will be both mental and physical, and racers are free to choose their own routes from clue to clue, whether via public transporation or by foot.
Running a similar race in Pittsburgh last summer, Carpet Showcase Vice President of Sales and Marketing Christie Contraguerro thought the format would work well in Wheeling.
"It's going to be a really fun day," she said. "We are really challenging Wheeling to rediscover our city and raise money for Youth Services System. We're challenging (people) to get out, get active. You don't have to train for this race. Anyone's welcome."
In a planning meeting Wednesday, Christie Contraguerro emphasized the current sign-up need for both volunteers and racers. The entry fee includes an official t-shirt, race bib, bottle of water and after-party access. Registration and race information are available through challengewheeling.com. Individuals must be 18 or older to participate.
The top three finishers will win $500 for first place, $100 for second place and $50 for third place. For those who wish to run in style, an optional costume contest provides the opportunity for three winning teams to receive $50 gift certificates to River City. River City, which will serve as race headquarters and will be the location for an after-party featuring special drink prices and entertainment by DJ Daner and Jeff Tappe of Smoke Daddy and the Crawfish.
Additional event sponsors include Beyond Marketing, Mohawk Flooring, Enterprise Rent-a-car, Deans Water Service, West Liberty University, CentreTown Fitness, Shirts 'n' More, River City, Rich & Shirley's Quickprint and the Ryan Ferns Healthplex.