Obstacles, fun all part of HeartChase fundraiser

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 12, 2012

By Shavonne Potts
SALISBURY — Not too many kids would let their mothers throw a plastic badminton birdie at their heads. But for the sake of raising money, Alden Roseman did just that.
Alden and his mother, Pam, were one of about six teams to compete in HeartChase, an American Heart Association fundraising event that takes teams through fun obstacles.
The event, which was held Saturday along Easy Street and the F&M Trolley Barn, is a pilot event. But it’s expected to return to Salisbury next year.
Salisbury was selected as one of 50 cities in the U.S. and one of only two in the state to launch the interactive fundraising event. The other North Carolina city to participate was Clayton on April 28.
The event is a community event that provides participants, through obstacles and puzzles, a fun way to promote healthy living and support a cause at the same time.
HeartChase is like Amazing Race mixed in with the NBC show “Minute To Win It.”
“All of the donations go to support research for the Heart Association,” said Denise Young, director of the mid-Atlantic area.
The Heart Association looked for a way to be involved with smaller communities, Young said.
The organization looked for communities with populations between 25,000 and 45,000.
The Rosemans participated in the Bucket Birdies where Pam had to toss birdies into a bucket strapped to a hard hat.
One of the obstacles that seemed to give the teams the most trouble was Paver Dominoes, where competitors take bricks, donated from Johnson Concrete, stack them up and knock them down. All of the obstacles were timed.
Pam Alden’s was the team with the most points at 8,690.
Pam said she heard about the event from Salisbury photographer Holly Czuba.
“It was fun,” Pam said.
She said the goal was to map out a strategy just before each obstacle.
They admit they were at an advantage with one event: Circulation. A hula-hoop had to pass through a ring of teammates and foam noodles without breaking the chain. Since the Rosemans made a two-person team they didn’t have to pass the hoop that far.
Larger teams took longer to make a complete rotation.
Troy Dibley, who competed alongside parents Carolyn and Niven Bayer, said they were just there to have fun.
The team played to Niven’s strengths, Dibley said. Niven is a general contractor and analytical thinker. He came in handy when the team competed in the Hydrate obstacle, where water had to be taken from one container and put into a bucket using household objects.
Niven came up with the idea to use a sponge and toss it back to Dibley instead of walking back to the other container.
“He knew we were excellent players and freakishly competitive,” Carolyn said laughing.
She said the event had an amazing theme and was educational, but in a fun way.
“It’s a lot more hands-on,” Dibley said.
The team that came in with the fastest time was the “Titans” from Asheboro who finished in 54 minutes.
The team, made up of, Alex Haithcock, Lori Miklaszewski, Victoria Hayes, Morgan Kinney and her mother, Julie Kinney.
The team heard about the event from Miklaszewski, a physical education teacher, who coordinated a Jump Rope for Heart, another American Heart Association event.
She wanted to get her students involved, Miklaszewski said.
“It’s something new and it sounded like fun,” Julie Kinney said.
The event raised more than $8,000 with the money going to support research for the American Heart Association.
Lead sponsor for the event was Rowan Regional Medical Center with F&M Bank and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College as presenting sponsors.
There were also businesses that sponsored a checkpoint or obstacle station that included Chick-fil-A, Johnson Concrete, RCCC and Tilley Harley-Davidson.
The event included lunch provided by Jack Moore of Blowin’ Smoke BBQ Sauce.
Several other businesses donated raffle prizes and gift baskets.
Visit www.heartchase. org or the American Heart Association at www.heart.org for more information about HeartChase.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.