ST. MARYS - Area youth can have a blast while helping to raise money to support cancer research and programs at the 2nd annual "Minute to Win It" challenge this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the CMF Club in St. Marys.
The event is sponsored by Elk County Relay for Life's Team F.R.I.E.N.D.S., and all proceeds benefit the 2012 Relay, which will be held at Fox Township Community Park this summer.
Team F.R.I.E.N.D.S. member Joanne Parrish said the Minute to Win It challenge idea was conceived by the three youngest members of the team - second grader Jake Parrish, fourth grader Cahill Parrish and high school freshman Marisa Cunningham.
"They came up with it themselves, and we had our first event last year. It was held at the Boys and Girls Club, and it was a big success. We're doing another one this year, and the kids planned the whole thing themselves," Joanne said.
The event is open to all area children age 12 years old and under. There is a small entry fee per person, and children can bring a partner or elect to be paired with someone at the event. Parents are also encouraged to attend and watch the fun.
Cunningham said she and the boys had seen the "Minute to Win it" show on television and were inspired to put together their own set of challenges.
"We thought, 'It would be fun to do that for kids here,'" Cunningham said, adding that the group has created 10 fun and unique challenges for the children who attend.
"They'll be doing the Minute to Win It challenges, and then they give out prizes. They also run a little concession stand, and this year they added in an exchange for kids," Joanne said. "The gift exchange is open to the public, and people can participate even if they don't want to be part of the challenges."
She said Team F.R.I.E.N.D.S. is comprised of 15 family members and was created in honor of her parents, the late Nancy and John Snelick, both of whom suffered from cancer.
"We do it in memory of our mother and father," Joanne said. "We started the team for them, in memory of them, in hopes that they will find a cure. We're just doing our part."