Runners compete in annual bed race at Carroll County 4-H and FFA Fair.
Bed heads had their chance to shine in the spotlight without ever getting out from under the covers as the Tree of Friends Foundation hosted its annual Bed Race at the Carroll County 4-H & FFA Fair for the first time Monday.
The race was created last year by the foundation, a Carroll County nonprofit designed to aid those who need financial assistance. Jessie Boog, with the Tree of Friends, said they knew they wanted to return to the Agriculture Center for the second year of the races, and when a slot opened at the 4-H & FFA fair, they jumped at the opportunity.
Participants included the Lineboro 4-H Club pushing a covered wagon; Winters Mill football, pushing a football field bed; the Tree of Friends Foundation with a floral classic bed; and Carroll County Public Schools, driving a bed modeled after the Flintstones' car with each pusher dressed as a member of the stone-aged family
The beds are not just a creative mode of transportation, they also relate to the mission of the foundation. Ivy Gifford, with the Tree of Friends, said a couple of years ago, it was brought to their attention that there was a need for mattresses for children and families who were moving from temporary situations like a shelter into a more permanent home.
"There were a lot of kids going without beds, sleeping on floors or sleeping with siblings," Gifford said. "These mattresses were like a missing entity."
Gifford said last year there were about 90 children who were transferred into a permanent home, and they were able to provide 30 mattresses to them through money raised last year. This year, she said, it's the foundation's goal to make sure they can fill the whole need.
"It goes a little deeper than you'd think," Gifford said. "It's about kids education and their worth and value. It's about having their own bed for kids who have never had their own bed before. It's one of those things that slips through the cracks.
The beds raced head-to-head in one-on-one heats, with races taking their tolls on the somewhat fragile frames. The Tree of Friends Foundation bed collapsed entirely in the midst of a race — with the announcer pulling out a well-timed spin of "Yakety Sax" for comedic effect, while the Flintstones bed later lost a wheel after hitting a cone. In the end, only the Winters Mill football and Lineboro 4-H Fair beds survived the carnage, with Winters Mill taking home the trophy for fastest bed.
Rick Chmar, of Westminster helped create the Winters Mill football bed, built on the skeleton of last year's motorcycle-themed entry. The motorcycle bed was the one to fall apart last year, and he said he was proud to turn a bed that couldn't finish into a bed that took home the gold.
Though four groups came out to participate in the bed races this year, Gifford said they had decked out 11 beds with wheels for participants to take advantage of. She said she hopes the extra eyes of the 4-H and FFA fair will encourage more people to take up the challenge next year.
"We've got lots of people willing to give money and to get behind the cause. We have people who love to come out and see it," Gifford said. "But it's the process of doing it that people aren't yet coming out for. We've already had people stopping us and saying they want to do it next year."