Amazing Challenge on tap this weekend

by Michael Short on October 8, 2010

By Michael Short

Rev. Kim Tephabock is the chair of Unite Sussex, a new group that hopes to bring churches, businesses and volunteers together to deal with homelessness, substance abuse and unemployment.

“We understand that by ourselves, this economic and social challenge can be overbearing, no one organization or group can do it alone,” according to the Unite Sussex website. “There is a great need in our communities, isn’t it time that we came together and did something about it?”

“Isn’t it time we Unite Sussex?” the site continued.

“There are many civil agencies, non-profit organizations and churches who are doing their best to assist those in need during these trying times,” according to the website. “Resources, though they are limited, are available. Many more groups of good-hearted people long to do something to make a difference in people’s lives, but they are unsure where to begin. Still, numerous people who could use a hand are unaware of resources or ashamed to ask for it.”

The group is still feeling its’ way and it’s in need of volunteers, contributions, ideas and everything else that every new group needs. Over 30 non-profit groups have already attended meetings. Some are faith based. Many are not.

But Unite Sussex has already come up with a unique idea for a fundraiser that organizers hope will jump start the new organization while raising money for those in need.

On Saturday, Oct. 9, Unite Sussex will hold The Amazing Challenge. It’s a two-person race through Sussex County with stops along the way to find clues to your destination. If that sounds suspiciously like the  perennial television favorite “The Amazing Race,” that’s because it’s based on the same idea.

Teams of two people will race around Sussex County, finding clues and testing themselves physically and mentally in the process. It’s a new idea for Delaware, although Race Around Ohio did a similar fundraiser in the central part of that state.

“The Amazing Challenge will test your physical strength, your courage, your knowledge and your gumption,” according to a pledge form. “It will be fun, intellectually stimulating, wild at places, and the best part – it is all for charity.”

Team entry fees are $90.

“We wanted to do something fun and exciting, just like our new organization,” said Lynn Maloy, executive director of Unite Sussex. “It’s a fun thing to do on a Saturday, intellectually and physically.”

Tephabock said there is a “pent up demand” for people who want to help those in need. He said some may have soured on goverment or churches or other parts of society, but they haven’t soured on helping those who may need a helping hand. “There’s a tremendous desire to volunteer. They just want to volunteer and to serve and to be involved in something that makes a difference.”

The new group hopes to; bring businesses, volunteers, non profits and other agencies together to help with what Tephabock considers their four biggest challenges – unemployment, homelessness, community transition (building) and substance abuse.

“It’s like a dream that’s coming true, to make a difference,” he said. “We’ve received bipartisan support for our efforts.”

For more information about Unite Sussex or The Amazing Challenge, go to www.unitesussex.org or email unitesussex@hotmail.com or call 752-6225.

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