By Britney Lyn Hamm
Tuesday, May 2. Another cloudy day. Will it rain or not rain? After days of Noah-like rain, the sun finally broke through the clouds around 4pm.
Just in time. For the epic, logic-defying, wildly entertaining CEO Tricycle Race fundraiser for Restoration House of Greater Kansas City.
The afternoon sun shone brightly, accompanied by a gentle breeze that made for a perfect afternoon for a race. Eight brave teams entered the race, contributing a total of $4,250 in entry fees and additional raised funds for the survivors of human trafficking Restoration House serves. These teams came with total abandon, ready to do whatever it took to get those tricycles down the sidewalk and back four times before their competition.
The event kicked off in front of Lee’s Summit City Hall with a cookout of hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, cookies, and drinks donated by Price Chopper. The iconic Dick Wilson of 94.9 donated his time to DJ’the event, playing tunes from decades past and hosting the tricycle fun with witty flair.
After dinner, race time commenced. The teams came ready to win one (or more) trophies in the three categories: Best Decorated Tricycle, Winner of the Race, and Most Money Raised.
The Brave Teams:
The teams, who each had to pay a $500 entry fee, were:
- The UMKC Mudbloods, college students dressed in Harry Potter-inspired costumes who rode a classic toddler-sized Radio Flyer tricycle and surprised everyone by taking third in Most Money Raised with over $700
- Team Mario Brothers, who rode an adult-sized tricycle and were completely decked out in Mario wear, and won first place in Most Money Raised with $1250
- Dr. Hammer and the Staff Infection, who rode an adult-sized tricycle and wore scrubs and lab coats
- Commerce Bank Money Team, who pushed a toddler in a child-sized tricycle with dollar signs pasted to their foreheads
- The Greg Knapp Experience, the radio host team who blazed ahead pushing off the ground instead of attempting the pedals and won the race
- The GEHA Petal Pushers, a group of women wearing leis who rode a child-sized tricycle
- The Renegade Realtors, the team of realtors who rode an adult-sized tricycle
- Back to the Past, who rode an actual 1896 tricycle they got from a museum, with their primary rider wearing a 1890s style vest and cap and accordingly won Best Decorated
The teams raced in multiple tournament rounds, with each of their 4 riders riding 50 feet down the sidewalk and back before trading riders. The adult-sized tricycles proved difficult to turn around for the journey back up the sidewalk. The poor UMKC students barely made it down the sidewalk as their 20+ year old tricycle fell apart one piece at a time, leaving nuts, bolts, and parts behind.
Teams used all forms of creativity – from pushing the tricycle from behind to pushing the ground with their feet and everything in between – to go back and forth. Rules went out the window in exchange for hilarity and laughter.
In the early 2000s there was a TV show whose byline was “Where everything’s made up and the points don’t matter.” The same could be said of this race. It was the perfect way to spend an hour on a sunny spring Tuesday afternoon: eating and laughing with a bit of competition mixed in, all the while raising money to help transform real lives for those who don’t have the chance to smile or to laugh without hope first breaking in.
As the sun broke through the clouds to make way for the race that Tuesday afternoon, may Restoration House continue to be a ray of hope breaking into the darkness in the lives of survivors of human trafficking.