Laurens, S.C. – A bed race on the Historic Downtown Square in Laurens will likely bring a lot of laughs this Saturday morning, Sep. 29 as teams push decorated beds around a temporary racetrack. Planners for the unusual event hope it also brings in a good bit of funding for the non-profit organization Family Promise, which is using the bed race to raise funds for the costs needed to help house homeless families in Laurens County.
“It’s a fun event to help with a serious need,” said fundraising committee chair Doug Shenton, who explains many of the county’s homeless include children.
“We have six or seven teams already and hope to see about 20 community and service groups enter a bed in the race, and we hope that plenty of people will come out and enjoy the event and vote for people’s choice award.” Awards will include trophies for creativity in decorating the beds.
Teams will be comprised of five people – four to push the bed and one person to ride the bed with an entry fee of $100, and all the proceeds will go toward the operational fees needed to launch Family Promise, a program which networks participating churches to rotate weekly in offering shelter for the families in the evening, and a centrally-located Day Center for adults while children are in school. Funds are needed to purchase portable beds for the night spaces and laptops to allow the adults to seek jobs and work to find housing.
Registration is set for 9 a.m. on Saturday with the race to begin soon afterward. There are a few guidelines, such as the minimum 4-inch wheels needed on the bed, and the addition of a mattress or box spring. The team members need to be at least 14 years of age and the rider should be at least 100 pounds.
The rules are about safety so anyone can call to get the specifics.
“We need to raise about $70,000 in order to begin taking families,” Shenton said. “We already have all the churches that we need to house the families and First Baptist Laurens is providing the day center space, but we need the funding to launch the program, hopefully by April 2019.”
For more information and to get details about rules of the race, call Shenton at 864-939-9478.