“We will have no choice but to again re-locate the Race out of Loveland if this ordinance is not rescinded by your February 28 meeting.”
by David Miller
Loveland, Ohio – Amazing Charity Race co-founder and Chairman, Doug Portman said, “This policy effects our mission. If this policy is kept, the chances of the Amazing Charity race being held in Loveland going forward, are minuscule.” He was talking to City Council at their meeting on January 24 about the fees associated with their new public events policy. Portman also talked about how the policy will impact the many charities in Loveland the race supports.
Portman challenged council members who support the increased fees to decide which local charitable organizations would no longer receive money after it is diverted into City coffers. He asked Council, “Which charities would you turn away? Can you make that call – because we can’t.”
“It’s disheartening that I am here in front of City Council to once again discuss fees imposed on the Amazing Charity Race. Particularly disturbing, given the fact that the majority of this council ran their campaigns based on their desire to bring the Amazing Race back to Loveland and the good the event brings to the community,” said Portman.
The 2017 race is scheduled for Saturday, June 17. It is always held on Fathers Day weekend.
The Amazing Charity Race had been named “Loveland’s Amazing Race” until former City Manager Tom Carroll threatened to withhold an operating permit unless the Race paid the City $5,000. Carroll implied the City was owed the money because one of the Race board members set too high a price for a building Carroll was attempting to buy for [pull_quote_left]”Plain and simple and ego driven foolishness.” – Kent Blair[/pull_quote_left] the Loveland Station Apartments. After public outcry, the permit was eventually granted; however, because Race organizers could not come to a long-term agreement with the City the name was changed and the race was held in Milford and Miami Township for two years. After a new Council majority was elected, and Carroll resigned; the Race again included Loveland with the course running between all three communities. The start and finish lines have alternated between Milford and Loveland.
The Amazing Charity Race has managed to raise nearly $850,000 dollars over eleven years. Last year the Race donated $64,000 to charities and local organizations. The biggest checks of $5,000 each went to CancerFree KIDS and Ovarian Cancer Alliance. Karen Carns Foundation and InRETURN received $1,000 each. More than 40 other charitable organizations split the remainder.
Kent Blair, an 11-year resident and a 10-year race committee member said the new fees “were out of a desire of self-serving spite.” He called them “a folly” and “goofy.” He told the overflowing crowd that spilled into the hallways, “One of the hallmarks of the Loveland community is open minds and hearts – it’s service to help others. Another hallmark is that we’re pretty sensitive to high-handed shenanigans and skullduggery which is apparently a trademark of this City government.” Getting more emphatic as he continued, Blair said, “Barely four years after driving the race away from Loveland in a tantrum of municipal malfeasance, you’re threatening to do it again.” He described the fee structure as, “plain and simple, ego driven foolishness.” Blair asked, “What on earth are you people thinking of?”
Blair said he was at the council meeting “to caution that the race I love, the holiday celebrations, Farmers’ Market, the beautification efforts, were all dreamed up by, and belong to the people – the community.” He said council members have been removed from their seats before, “We can damn sure do it again.”
[pull_quote_left]“Loveland has an incredible community spirit and special events foster that spirit and helped make Loveland what it is,” said Doug Portman.[/pull_quote_left]Portman laid out the fees charged by Milford and Miami Township for previous races and compared them to the ones proposed by Loveland. He said Loveland was attempting to charge the Race close to $6,600. The bill last year from Milford was $877, and Miami Township charged $840.
City staff had already amended their Public Events Policy to allow organization to apply for a “hardship” waiver from the fees by appealing to a three member committee of City staff. During the meeting, Council further amended the provision so the appeal would go before the full Council for a vote on whether to grant the waiver. Portman however, was having nothing to do with the waiver saying it would give the appearance of favoritism or prejudice to groups that did not receive the hardship reduction.
[pull_quote_left]We’re pretty sensitive to high-handed shenanigans and skullduggery,” said Kent Blair[/pull_quote_left]”Loveland has an incredible community spirit and special events foster that spirit and helped make Loveland what it is,” said Portman.
Concluding his speech, Portman said, “Unfortunately, because of the preparation necessary for us to organize the race and the processes and fees this ordinance contains, we will have no choice but to again re-locate the race out of Loveland if this ordinance is not rescinded by your February 28 meeting.”
Councilman Rob Weisgerber made a motion to rescind the fee guidelines. He, Kathy Bailey, and Ted Phelps voted, Yes.” Mayor, Mark Fitzgerald, Vice-Mayor Angie Settle, Pam Gross, and Steven Zamagias voted, “No.” The motion failed.
An ordinance setting the amount of the fees is still pending.
Loveland Magazine is a sponsor of the Amazing Charity Race. This video below was produced by LOVELAND MAGAZINE TV highlighting the 2016 race.
“In its 11th year, 500 volunteers and a dedicated board of directors, guided about 1,400 racers on a 15-mile labyrinth of mental and physical challenges on June 18 in the Amazing Charity Race. From Loveland, through Miami Township, and into Milford, each team member must be physically fit, but also master the mental challenges of goofy brain games all along the course. Nearly all of the physical challenges are most easily handled by problem solving team mates as well. Think, Navy Seals teamwork – – sort of.”
Tossed around like pinballs while inside giant balloons
They were challenged to games of Donkey Kong at the Boy Scout’s Camp Friedlander, being tossed around like pinballs while inside giant balloons, reciting movie lines at the Loveland Stage Company, shooting a giant sling shot using their legs, and much, much more. Teams come from all over the country to race in the Fathers Day Weekend event.
You can watch all of the other people opposing the public event fees at the Council meeting on LOVELAND MAGAZINE TV