CARLSBAD — Acting as game ambassadors, Aidan Good and Ceamon Terhune enthusiastically lit the torch that marked the official commencement of the fourth annual Hurricane Olympics on June 5.
“We did it!” said Ceamon, after she and Aidan kicked off the fundraising event that would sponsor their wishes and those of other children through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Fifteen teams gathered at Carlsbad’s Magee Park to participate in the games that combine fun and friends for a great cause. The events included a Dizzy Chicken Shot Put and a Puzzle Relay that had players in fierce competition to raise money for the charity.
“It’s a chance to reach out,” said event organizer Steff Colonna. “I work with bands, I have contacts — why not give back?”
Team entry fees and individual donations were collected and donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of San Diego. Major companies, like Pop Chips and Vitamin Water, also sponsored the event that has successfully raised thousands of dollars for the charity.
The Good and Terhune families and friends cheered from the sidelines as teams competed in the unusual events. The game ambassadors were even asked to assist the competitors when they needed help in the Puzzle Relay.
“I think these games are great,” said C.J. Good, Aidan’s father. “They sponsored his Make-a-Wish trip last year to Universal Studios.”
Although Team USA took home the gold for the second year in a row, it was a rewarding afternoon for everyone involved. Event sponsors 2600 Strange Avenue had three teams participate in the games to further the charitable efforts of their T-shirt printing company.
“Any fun day that’s going to raise money for a good cause is worthwhile,” said co-owner Ryan Foote, who flew in from Portland to compete. “It’s a great opportunity to come out and support another charitable company.”
The nonprofit Hurricane Olympics organization holds fundraising events throughout the year to benefit other charities like St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Colonna recently added To Write Love on Her Arms, a charity combating depression and self-injury, to the roster in memory of a friend who committed suicide late last year.
“It kind of all works with the youth movement and things that affect us,” she said of the charities the organization has chosen. “We’re going to keep growing.”
To learn more about the Hurricane Olympics organization or to get involved with a charity event, visit www.hurricaneolympics.com.