Friends Helping Friends Winter Triathlon and Benefit to aid emergency services

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The bed races are always a popular activity during the Mar-Mac Friends Helping Friends Winter Triathlon and Benefit. This year’s event will be held Friday and Saturday, March 3-4, in McGregor, with proceeds going to local emergency services for equipment purchases. (NIT file photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Mar-Mac Friends Helping Friends is going back to its roots for the 13th annual Winter Triathlon and Benefit on Friday and Saturday, March 3-4.

Proceeds from the event have often gone to individuals or families in the community battling cancer or other hardships. This year, however, proceeds will benefit local emergency services—including the police, fire department and rescue squad—for equipment purchases.

It’s been awhile since the event benefitted emergency services, said Friends Helping Friends volunteer Cathy Corpian. In fact, she noted, the last time it happened, beloved community volunteer Punk Thornton was involved. Thornton has since passed, but Corpian said the group felt it was important to “get back to why we do what we do, to remember why we started this.”

Funding is always needed for the police, fire department and rescue squad, Corpian said.

“They’re mostly volunteer,” she remarked, “and they put their lives on the line. We all rely on them. This is a way to show support.”

Activities will kick off Friday, March 3, with bar bingo at Pocket City Pub, in McGregor, beginning at 6 p.m. 

On Saturday, March 4, the day will start at 9 a.m., with a bake sale at Backwoods. If you would like to donate baked goods, please call Von Redemske at (563) 873-2238, or simply drop items off at Backwoods beginning at 8:30 a.m.

At 10 a.m., watch the bed parade travel down the 100 and 200 blocks of McGregor’s Main Street. The triathlon, featuring bed races, turkey bowling and basketball toss, will commence immediately following the parade, in front of McGregor Municipal Utilities. 

Community members are encouraged to put together five-person teams and join the fun. Beds are available for use, if the group does not have one. For more information, contact Cathy at (563) 873-3816.

The hog roast will begin at 11 a.m., at Backwoods, and will consist of pork, potato salad, cheesy potatoes, coleslaw, beans and a roll.

Tournaments will also be held at the local bars, starting at noon. Josie’s River Queen will host bowling, the Riverview will have euchre and darts will be offered at Backwoods. Contact those establishments for more details.

At 5 p.m., the raffle and auction will get underway at Backwoods. New auction items are welcome, and can be dropped off at Cathy’s Office, 218 Main St., McGregor.

Any monetary donations can be made out to Mar-Mac Friends Helping Friends and either dropped off or mailed to Cathy’s Office, P.O. Box 371, 218 Main St., McGregor, IA 52157.

New members are always welcome to Mar-Mac Friends Helping Friends. The events take a lot of work, but also offer a fun time.

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