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Race to Erase: putting fun back in fundraising

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The co-founder of Race to Erase admits the event born in Sarnia nine years ago has “a lot of moving parts.”

But in a nutshell, teams compete in light-hearted challenges throughout the community, all in support of 11 charities.

Think ‘Amazing Race’ or ‘Minute to Win It,’ but with a local twist, said Rich Bouchard.

“It’s kind of a hybrid of the two. Teams do travel around Sarnia-Lambton by car …  but the challenge stops are more like Minute to Win It.”

The events are timed and often like a relay. At a farm recently, for example, teams took a multiple-choice test on farming implements, pushed around hay and passed buckets of grain into a hopper.

Savvy and smarts are needed more than athleticism, and because the winner is the team with the total fastest event times there’s no need to race cars between locations.

“Teams can be young or old, co-workers or family and friends, or just people standing in line at the grocery store. It doesn’t really matter,” Bouchard said. “But they do have fun.”

No registration fee is required but each team is asked to raise a minimum of $500. About 35 teams sign up most years and, best of all, every nickel raised goes to the 11 charities.

Race to Erase runs on a shoestring budget with volunteers, sponsors and a Trillium Foundation grant.

“We have a really good core of people who have been behind us from the get-go,” Bouchard said.

Teams can choose to support any of the following charities: Cinderella Story, Community Concerns for the Medically Fragile, Goodwill Industries, Harmony for Youth, Huron House Boys Home, Inn of the Good Shepherd, Noelle’s Gift, Organization for Literacy Sarnia-Lambton, Pregnancy Options & Support Centre, The Chris Dawson Foundation, and Women’s Interval Home.

Over its eight years Race to Erase has raised $252,000. Based on that success, Bouchard and two former participants living in Cambridge, Ont. are test-piloting the race in that city this fall.

To register a team visit,



WHAT: Race to Erase

WHO: Teams of four

WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 27, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

WHERE: Start and finish, Royal Canadian Legion Hall on Front Street.

WHY: Support 11 local charities

 – George Mathewson









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