Dani Aldrich organized The Amazing Irish Race eight years ago as a fun event she could enjoy with her friends. After the 2008 flood hit, she decided to charge an entry fee and donate money to flood organizations. A few years later, she decided to shift their focus to animal rescue groups. This year Dogs Forever was selected as the beneficiary of their race.
The race has grown from 36 people its first year to 200 people this year, which included 40 teams of five people each. The concept behind the event includes teams completing a challenge at the starting location. Then they received a clue in which they used to determine where they needed to go in order to complete their next challenge. Teams did 10 different challenges along with two “detours.” One of those detours included each team member picking up an item to donate to Dogs Forever.
This year’s route started at Noelridge Park and ended at Jersey’s in downtown Cedar Rapids. Woody, one of Dogs Forever’s dogs up for adoption, also made an appearance at the beginning of the event and made quite an impression on all the teams. Dani mentioned this was one of the best ways she has ever started the event. Participants donated 30 jugs of laundry detergent, 30 jars of peanut butter and two tubs full of dog toys and treats to Dogs Forever. In addition, a portion of registration fees was donated to Dogs Forever ($1,175) while some runners donated their winnings. To cap it off Tiffany Hermsen, one of the volunteers for this event,passed around a boot to collect additional donations as well. We are overwhelmed at the generosity of everyone involved with this event.
Thank you also to the Dogs Forever volunteers who helped out at the race and transported donated items to Safe Place: Michele Means, Kathy and Mike Couse, Lisa Sparrow, Kathy Frieden and Jim Edmunds. On behalf of Eastern Iowa’s homeless dogs, woof! Thanks!