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Adults acting like kids for charitable cause

Bremerton Fire Department Chief Al Duke rides a tricycle in the second annual Bremerton Trike Race to help raise funds for United Way of Kitsap County Oct. 3.  - Photo by Jesse Beals
Bremerton Fire Department Chief Al Duke rides a tricycle in the second annual Bremerton Trike Race to help raise funds for United Way of Kitsap County Oct. 3.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

It's not every day a bunch of grown men and women are seen riding tricycles down a busy street.

But various members of the community took a trip back to their childhood to raise money for United Way of Kitsap County at the second annual Bremerton Trike Race Oct. 3.

As various family members, coworkers and passersby looked on, several members of the community – including Bremerton Fire Department Chief Al Duke and United Way Co-chairperson Charleen Burnette – scooted down Fourth Street in the rain as best they could.

The race was the brainchild of Monica Lockwood and Jamie Osterman of Rice Fergus Miller and former employee Annette Clement, a architecture design and planning firm located on Fourth Street.

It began last year when the three, placed in charge of the company's United Way campaign, wanted to come up with something that could not only raise money, but bring their coworkers together to build unity and have some fun.

"So we were brainstorming ideas and looking through various materials, and there was this suggestion of a tricycle race," Blackwood said. "We said, 'Alright, let's see if we can get the three partners to race down Fourth Street.'"

Those three partners — Dave Fergus, Mike Miller and Steve Rice — did so after a bit of arm-twisting.

The event quickly became popular with coworkers, who cheered on their favorites and made bets on who would win.

It was popular enough to get them talking about how they would do next year, which was to get more people involved to race and get other organizations involved to fundraise.

They also borrowed more bikes from Kitsap Child Care and the Olympic College Child Development & Family Center, with the hopes that someone will donate tricycles to their race so they, in turn, can donate the bikes to needy families or other charitable organizations.

Another goal is they want to use it as a kickoff event for fundraising, which makes Patricia Hennessy, the United Way director of resource development, excited to see.

"So many of our campaign rallies, they're (just) fun," she said, noting that the campaign she's in charge of has a "Wizard of Oz" theme. "But that's part of it — to do something fun and to get people together to talk about some serious issues in the community and how they can help solve problems in the community. That's what it's all about."

They also want it to be an annual event where the community and businesses come together to have some fun and raise some funds without having to make it an all-day event.

"We're not asking people to give up their lunch hour or an afternoon," Blackwood said.

To add to the fun, Blackwood said they're holding several more events, including a chili feed kickoff, a silent auction, and a Nintendo Wii tournament to attract the gamers and those with families.

Miller, who took first in a photo finish, appreciates doing something different for charity.

"It's all for a good cause," he said. "That's what counts."

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