Chamber gears up for second annual Amazing Chase

Participants show their stuff during last year's inaugural "Amazing Chase," held by the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce. 

WINDHAM — It’s round two for the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce’s “Amazing Chase” event.

The second annual Amazing Chase will take place Saturday, Sept. 16, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The chamber launched the “team tech adventure race ” last year, and is hoping for another successful showing after 12 teams and numerous businesses participated in 2016. The event is a fundraiser for the chamber.

Chamber Executive Director Aimee Senatore said the Amazing Chase is inspired in part after the CBS show “The Amazing Race,” which pits teams of two against each other in a series of globetrotting tasks.

“Last year was a really successful year,” Senatore said about the 2016 competition. “It was phenomenal.”

“The community really came out to support it,” Senatore added. “That momentum just built into this year.”

The Sebago Lakes Region Chamber’s take on the event has teams of four traveling around the Lakes Region stopping at designated spots. Each team, armed with an iPad and a  specialized app, will complete various tasks and try to rack up the most points.

“It’s all about strategy and team-building,” Senatore said, noting that the competition is meant to be family-friendly and is now open to ages 10 and up (at least one member of the team must be 25 or older).

Senatore said that the competition fielded 12 teams last year, and 12 have already signed up this year as of Tuesday. Registration is open until Sept. 10, can be completed on the chamber website, and the entry fee is $395 per team.

Tasks involve “SMART technology, strategy, finding landmarks, solving clues, trivia, performing tasks, completing physical challenges and taking photos/videos,” the chamber says.

The top four teams receive prizes, including an “explore and play package” for the winners that features a 30-minute helicopter ride for four courtesy of Windham Weaponry, a kayak excursion from Sebago Trails Paddling Co., tickets to the 2018 Maine Blues Festival in Naples, dining at Bucks Naked BBQ and massages at Freedom Massage and Wellness.

Senatore said that there will be some repeat teams from last year, and while some of the stops will be the same, the tasks will be different so that returning teams like last year’s winning team, “Sloth Ninjas,” don’t have an unfair advantage.

One repeat stop will be hosted by the Portland Water District at is Sebago Lake Land Reserve, which is located on the southern end of the lake in Standish and Gorham.

Water district environmental educator Carina Brown said that participating in the event gives the organization a chance to share information about their mission and work to provide and protect clean drinking water for the greater Portland area.

“It fits our mission,” said Brown, who explained that last year’s Amazing Chase stop at the preserve involved competitors finding their way along some of the preserve trails and learning more about work done by the water district.

“It was just a good opportunity to share how the Sebago Lake Land Reserve works,” Brown said.

“We love to expose them to some of the work that we do in terms of protecting their drinking water,” Brown added.

“I’m excited. I enjoyed last year,” Brown said about the upcoming chase.

Sabre Yachts, one of the main sponsors of the event, will also serve as a pit stop for the second year in a row. Jackie Harlowe, a human resources generalist with the yacht company in Raymond, will be in charge of the stop.

“We know from our participation last year that it was very well done,” said Harlowe, who also called it “a great local event.”

Harlowe said Sabre Yachts has two teams in the chase this year (down from three last year) and that all eight  participants are Sabre employees.

“We are doing a little internal competition between the two teams,” she added.

Senatore hopes that the event, which supports the chamber’s overall mission and operation with the funds that it raises, can become a “spotlight event” for the region that showcases the various businesses, resources, and potential that the Lakes Region has to offer.

The event also provides an opportunity, through crowdfunding, for participants to help raise money for the chamber’s “Feed the Need” initiative that aims to fight hunger in the region.

Senatore said that participants can get some additional points in the competition based on how much money they help raise for the Feed the Need effort.

She said that last year’s Amazing Chase participant crowdfunding efforts generated about $3,000 for Feed the Need, but declined to say how much the Amazing Chase event raised for the chamber.

Matt Junker can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or Follow him on Twitter: @MattJunker.

Participants show their stuff during last year’s inaugural “Amazing Chase,” held by the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce.