Visitors to Frisco’s Main Street were treated to a sight not normally seen on a Saturday afternoon when more than two dozen community members decked out in costumes and brightly colored uniforms sprinted through town, stopping into businesses along the way to perform random tasks in a relay race/fundraiser.
The spectacle was all part of the third annual “86 Ovarian Cancer” Restaurant Relay.
The community fundraising event was started by local businesspeople Wendy Salazar, who co-owns the Log Cabin with Michelle McDonald, and Bob Sarkow, Silverheels owner. The relay has raised more money and grown to involve more people each year since its inception three years ago. This year it was expected to raise more than $10,000 in the fight against ovarian cancer.
“This year is double the size of last year, so thank you all for participating,” event organizer Wendy Salazar said at the start of the race.
Zachary Skivinski and Alex Corti — aka “the Copper Crusaders” — signed up to take part in the relay for the first time on Saturday.
“It’s fun and it’s a good excuse to dress up. We’ve never done anything like this before” Corti said.
“We’re going into this blind,” Skivinski added. “But we’re ready for anything.”
Each side of the street had nine stops for the relay teams, with a total of 18 local businesses participating. Each stop required a team member to perform a skill or task, of varying difficulty, before moving on to the next stop.
The Lost Cajun had relay racers making fried breaded goodies. Team members had to place rings on a toy monkey’s tail in the Moose Jaw. Rebel Sports had racers pumping it up, putting air into a bike tire. Then team members played chef working dough balls into 10-inch pizza crusts at Bagalis. Racers got to sit for a moment while they worked to open and close outdoor umbrellas at Foote’s Rest.
Haley Gelber oversaw a game of Cornhole, which involves throwing beanbags, at Ollie’s. She knows Salazer and said she wanted to help her friend out with the fun and quirky fundraising event.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Gelber said.
Many of those involved with the relay were not only supportive of the cause, but also supportive of the relay race organizers.
Marlys Weimer assisted with event for the second time this year. She said she wanted to return the support she’s received from Salazar in what she described as a true community event.
“I have breast cancer and when I met the gals down at the Log Cabin, Wendy told me about her mom having ovarian cancer,” Weimer said. “They’ve really helped me and now I’m helping them out.”
Other participants also were attracted to the event because of the support they’ve seen from the team at the Log Cabin.
Kathleen Clabby and Mary Merri McKissock signed up for “86 Ovarian Cancer” for the first time this year as the China Cats team.
“I’ve been involved in other cancer fundraising events before,” Clabby said. “I also work for a nonprofit in Breckenridge, and the Log Cabin has supported our fundraisers so I wanted to come and support them.”
Prizes were awarded to teams that had the fastest time, that raised the most money and that had the best costumes. The fastest team also gets to display the Stanley Cup-style trophy at their place of business until next year’s relay.
All proceeds from the fundraiser will go to the Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance (COCA) and, new this year, to the ProStart program of the Summit County chapter of the Colorado Restaurant Association. COCA, established in 2005, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness and supporting victims of the disease. The ProStart program awards scholarships annually to Summit High School graduates going on to college with the intention of joining the hospitality industry.
Reporter Jessica Smith contributed to this article.