Tamika Nastali, left, cheers as Madison Rixe successfully sinks a pumpkin in the “pool” leg of the relay. The girls were part of the Coupeville High School drama troupe that won for having the fastest relay time. Photo by Megan Hansen/Whidbey News-Times.

Team race to raise $12k for food bank

Relay teams raced their way to victory Saturday raising more than $12,000 for Gifts From the Heart Food Bank.

This was the 10th anniversary of the races that are traditionally held the second week in October and the last farmers market of the season.

Organizers decided to move up the races this year to avoid hard rains that have drenched participants the previous three years.

Six teams from Rosehip Farm, Kettle’s Edge Farm, Coupeville Lions Club, Coupeville High School’s drama troupe, Windermere and the Penn Cove Water Festival competed in a series of farm-inspired activities including racing shopping carts around the track and filling them with specific numbers of produce, playing pool with pumpkins, milking a cow and running to the finish holding an egg with a spoon.

In the end, the high school drama troupe came out on top with the fastest time. Rosehip raised the most money and new team Windermere was voted People’s Choice for their festive costume theme “Not in Season.”

The races are the only major fundraiser the foodbank holds each year, said Coupeville Mayor Molly Hughes, who also serves as food bank president.

The 2017 races raised $12,279 for a 10-year total of more than $111,000.

“That’s an amazing amount of money and support for your little food bank,” Hughes said.

Gifts From the Heart celebrated its 15th anniversary this year. The food bank started serving Central Whidbey residents in 2002 in a small space at Greenbank Farm. It moved to the old fire station on Main Street in 2005 where it shares space with the Coupeville Boys and Girls Club.

In 2016, the food bank served more than 2,300 households and nearly 6,000 individuals in Coupeville and Greenbank. More than 30 percent of the clients it served were infants to school-age children.

• For information about the food bank, go to www.giftsfromtheheart.com

Kettles Edge owner John Burks takes off against Coupeville Lion Teresa Ellis in the first leg of the relay. Photo by Megan Hansen/Whidbey News-Times

Windermere team member Sarah Erbe, right, tries to sink a pumpkin while team mate Cheryl Lueder cheers on. Photo by Megan Hansen/Whidbey News-Times

Jacklyn Allen with the Windermere team hands off a container to the judge to see if she’d milked enough from “Bessie.” Photo by Megan Hansen/Whidbey News-Times

Jackie Contreras with the Penn Cove Water Festival team heads toward the finish line carefully balancing a raw egg on a spoon. Photo by Megan Hansen/Whidbey News-Times

More in Life

Oak Harbor Garden Tour picks whimsical host home

Patchwork of flowers, fun and quirky finds

Mucking about looking for squirts in the sand is part of the fun of digging for clams. This summer, Sound Water Stewards teaches six Digging for Dinner classes. Photo provided
Mucking about in clamming class

‘Digging for Dinner’ a popular Sound Water activity

Molka Xete, a new restaurant in Greenbank, specializes in street-style tacos that are five for $10. They make all the food from scratch, including sauces, tacos, tortillas and chips.
Center of island buzzing with new businesses

‘Molka Xete’ opens while store, deli and pot shop get ready

Anderson at the parade.
Marching, waving, saluting, singing … because it’s fun

As soon as I moved to the Rock nine years ago, friends… Continue reading

Photos provided.
                                Land Claims Founders Sculpture by Richard Nash is both visually striking and educational.
New public art honors Oak Harbor’s pioneers

Land Claims Founders Sculpture honors three explorers

Nudibranch Whisperer of Deception Pass

Sea slugs cast a spell on me…and it all began with fake… Continue reading

New look for familiar frozen treat

Whidbey Island Ice Cream gets a modern makeover

Sketchers draw Whidbey’s world

Open a journal of one of the Whidbey Island Sketchers and details… Continue reading

Historic sheep barn repurposed

Tucked away on the Pratt Loop Trail, a formerly dilapidated 1930s sheep… Continue reading

Tunnel vision: Time for ‘Golden chains’

Crowds gather at Bayview nursery for annual display

‘Art with a Message’

Students worldview a kaleidoscope of visions