The Everybody Loves Kids (ELK) Charity Challenge, which bills itself as a philanthropic adventure, rolled into Oakhurst and Yosemite High School May 20.
Prior to the day of the event, all that was known was the challenge, which pits 50 people in a competitive, “Amazing Race” type journey through California, would be stopping by the high school. By the day’s end, though, a car show had been organized, thousands had been donated to various causes, and a replica of the Batmobile made an appearance - all to benefit the Mountain Area community and national children’s non-profits.
“I think it’s important to remember that our futures, our treasure, our bank account, if you will, is our children,” said Ron Seggi, a 50 year broadcasting veteran and ELK partner.
Being filmed for a possible release on a subscription streaming service, participants in the challenge are grouped into three teams. Starting in Ventura and moving north in a seven-day adventure through California, they compete in different challenges receiving clues that point them to their next destination.
The team with the most points at the end of each day are awarded $10,000 for one of three charities assigned to them - St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Shriners Hospital for Children and Texas Equusearch.
On May 20, participants started the day in Monterey, competing in challenges that involved water slides and a ride on the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad - ending their day at YHS where Mountain Area residents, including the YHS cheerleaders and the YHS Cadet Corps, gathered to cheer them on.
Other than business people and elected officials, the event featured a few notable figures such as Tim Colceri of Full Metal Jacket, Pro Rodeo Champion Kelly Kaminski, and two-time Emmy Award winner and producer of the Deadliest Catch Doug Stanley.
However, that wasn’t the only attraction at YHS. Students, as part of their senior project, organized a small car show and barbecue to accompany the event. Craig Corbell, a representative with ELK, impressed by the students’ work, made a personal donation of $500 to the school for the auto shop program.
Participants in the challenge also donated directly to YHS, $750 in cash and $750 in sporting equipment for the school.