GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) – Hump day is a few days away, but that didn’t stop camels from dashing to the finish line Sunday at Fonner Park for charity.
It was for the Dinsdale Desert Dash. Four camels ran 110 yards for a $150 cash prize, which would go to a non-profit organization they represented.
Local4 teamed up with the Alzheimer’s Association of Nebraska, represented by camel #1 “Spittin’ Image.” He unfortunately came in dead last, but the fundraiser gave the group another opportunity.
“It reaches a crowd that we wouldn’t normally see, so we have a lot of younger families that are here,” said Cassie Larreau-Bailey, walk manager for the Alzheimer’s Association of Nebraska. “They might see a resource on our table, and say, “oh hey,maybe I should reach out. Maybe I should start thinking about this.””
Nine charities total participated in the Desert Dash, the other five represented by ostriches. They raced after the camels.
Even if their animal didn’t win, each charity could raise money with $1 raffle tickets for a door prize item.
The Alzheimer’s Association raised around $100 with their tickets.
“All of that money, each charity gets to keep that, and it goes directly to support whichever initiatives that charity choses. Ours is for local support and care. So it helps support and grow our support group. It helps us provide education,” Larreau-Bailey said.
Fonner Park was completely packed with people Sunday to watch the races.
Chris Kotulak, chief operating officer at Fonner Park, said he estimated over 10,000 people there. He said for the first time in a long time, they completely sold out their Club House.
“I knew this community embraces their horse racing. They understand the ag element of it, and I also know that they support their charities. I think if you ask any of the charities, it exceeded their expectations and we’re happy for that,” Kotulak said.
He said they’re looking forward to having the Dinsdale Desert Dash again next year, and want to make it even bigger and better.