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Race to Remember to return to Albert Lea

By Tyler Julson

news@albertleatribune.com

The Race to Remember benefit to raise money for Alzheimer’s disease research will take place later this month at the Freeborn County Fairgrounds in Albert Lea.

An event that began in Rochester five years ago makes its return to Albert Lea June 16 and 17 for the second straight year. Some of the best barrel racers from Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin will come together to raise money for Alzheimer’s research and spread awareness about the disease.

Marketing volunteer Stephanie Richter said the Race to Remember event raised almost $6,000 in 2016 and hopes to raise even more this year. Funds raised during the event are donated to the Alzheimer’s research unit at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

Richter had a friend diagnosed with the illness and talked about what it is like for her to be able to help out with the event.

“It’s really tough,” Richter said. “Especially when it’s a good friend or a family member, you just hate to watch them lose everything. But, it’s great that we can do this and help get some money to Rochester, so they can experiment and research to try and end this terrible disease.”

Race to Remember is free to attend for the general public. Barrel racing will take place on both the evening of June 16 and throughout the day June 17.

Returning this year will also be the silent auction, which will start at about  9 a.m. June 17 and run until around 3 p.m.

Apart from the traditional barrel racing and silent auction, two new events have been added to the schedule this year.

A 5k race will take place beginning at 8 a.m. June 17, starting from the outdoor arena at the fairgrounds. Pre-registration forms can be found at the Albert Lea Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Northbridge Mall Edward Jones office or the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce office. Pre-registration fees are $25, or people can register the day of the run for $35.

Also new to the schedule this year is fidget blanket-making. The blanket-making will begin at 9 a.m. and will continue throughout the day as long as volunteers would like to stay. Even if you can’t sew, members of the public are encouraged to come out and help design the blankets. All of the blankets made during the day will be donated to local nursing homes with memory care units.

Riders interested in competing in the event are encouraged to register early, but may also register the day of the event. Stalls and camping are available to riders who wish to stay the night at the fairgrounds.

A minimum pledge of $45 is required to compete, but riders may donate more for a chance to earn a prize saddle awarded to the rider who brings in the most pledge money.

If you would like to register for an event, help with an event or have any questions, contact Chrystal Richter at 507-402-1007 or Kris Schewe at 507-219-1996.

Schedule

June 16

1 p.m.: Fairgrounds open

2 p.m.: Half-hour sessions

4 p.m.: Exhibitions

6:30 p.m.: Open 4D, NBHA, UBRA, Youth 4D

June 17

8 a.m.: Half-hour sessions

8 a.m.: 5k race

9 a.m.: Silent auction and fidget blanket-making

10 a.m.: Exhibitions

12 p.m.: Arena prep

12:45 p.m.: Pee Wee

1 p.m.: Open 4D, NBHA, UBRA, Youth 4D