CURWENSVILLE – Contestants for The Fireball Run Adventure Television show made their way through Clearfield County and the surrounding areas Sunday.
The 40 teams participating in the show were given clues to various destinations throughout the county and had to complete tasks in order to earn points and to move on to the next task.
“They traveled from Allegheny, NY this morning,” host Ivan Ellis said. “Tomorrow, they’ll be heading to Cumberland, Md., and the competition will end up in Amesbury, Mass. They’ll be going about 2,000 miles before they’re done.”
Co-host and professional wrestler “Sassy” Stephanie said the teams had to participate in a log-roll at Parker Dam State Park, where the contestants had to stay on the log between 25-30 seconds if they wanted to earn the maximum number of points.
The contestants then had to saw the log using antique handsaws. Stephanie said the teams also had to find the location of a vintage fire truck and use the hoses to knock over 10 bowling pins.
Additionally, Ellis and Stephanie said the teams visited Starr Hill Vineyard and Winery’s outlet stores where they had to taste wines and match the wine with its price and Straub Brewery, where the contestants had to match the different beers with the correct food pairing.
While trekking through the area, the teams were also treated to some local history.
Ellis and Stephanie said the contestants visited the DuBois Historical Society where they saw a World War II rifle, The Doolittle Depot where they visited Teddy Roosevelt’s official train car and also got to touch the cape that President Abraham Lincoln was wearing when he was shot.
“We had a lot of fun,” Carrie Sue of Team 64 Nun-Thing-Wrong, said.” She and her partner Tammy are one of the 40 teams participating in The Fireball Run this year. Carrie Sue and Tammy dress as Nuns while they compete.
“We got a little lost but we were able to get back on our mission, and we got to find Daisy the Firetruck.” This is the team’s second Fireball Run.
After completing the mission, all 40 team members arrived at Starr Hill Vineyard and Winery in Curwensville for a dinner reception. They stayed in the Clearfield area overnight and will be leaving Monday morning.
According to previously published GANT News articles, The Fireball Run is an “adventure-rally” series that will travel through New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
The series is not scripted or rehearsed and is filmed in real time as 40 teams travel along a 2,000-mile route to locate historic artifacts and “under-discovered” places.
The teams are given clues directing them to specific points of interest. When the team solves the clues, they are given the next location they must travel to and are awarded points for successfully accomplishing each activity.
In addition to the competition, each team is assigned a child who has been reported missing from their hometown through the Child Rescue Network.
As the teams travel, they hand out flyers containing information about the missing child, in hopes that someone may have information regarding that child’s whereabouts.
“We got involved during the first two years,” Jeff Griesemer, president and chief executive officer of the Child Rescue Network said.
“We took some time off and came back in 2014. It’s a very successful way to raise awareness and the teams really get into spreading the information about the children. We’re thrilled to be a part of it.”
Griesemer said 2,100 children are reported missing every day. He said 150 kids a day are abducted by one of their parents.
“The parent is taking this child as a way to get back at their partner,” Griesemer said. “They’re living in horrible conditions when we find them with no school or medical care at all.”
Sadly, Griesmer said about 30 children per day are abducted by non-family members.
“There’s been a frightening increase of children being taken and sold into the sex-trafficking industry,” Griesemer said.
“We’re seeing gangs and organized crime entities getting into sex-trafficking. It’s growing because with drugs, once the drugs are sold, they’re gone, whereas a person is still there. They can be sold over and over to different people.”
Griesemer said The Fireball Run is a valuable asset because smaller organizations like the Child Rescue Network have limited resources to get the word out on the missing children.
According to www.fireballrun.com, the Fireball Run media campaign has resulted in the successful recovery of 47 missing children.