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Jasper County Tribune

Calling all ‘Wacky Yakkers’

Inaugural Wacky Yakkers Games at Quarry Springs Park Saturday

A fun, or you could say “wacky,” event for a worthy cause is being planned at Quarry Springs Park in Colfax. Wacky Yakker Games, the idea of Quarry Springs Outfitters Greg Rhames, features games, relays and much more all on kayaks or paddle boards.

The games begin at about 10 a.m. Saturday with registration and check-in starting at 9:30 a.m. at the park, 200 N. Park Road. More than just a good time, the event is a fundraiser to help everyone access to the beautiful park and everything it has to offer.

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been at the park and met folks that wanted to get closer to, or actually on the lake but couldn’t due to some sort of disability,” Rhames said. “Many of the people were military veterans like myself. I wanted to do something to change that and develop something at Quarry Springs Park to allow inclusion of anyone who wanted to get on the lake.”

To make the lake area ADA (American with Disabilities Act) accessible, Rhames came up with the idea to build an ADA fishing dock and kayak launch. Through his research, he found a company that “combines the versatility of being ADA accessible, with railings that ensure the safety of people with disabilities while fishing or just hanging out on the dock.”

Like most good ideas, a cost is associated with the progress. With a price at as much as $35,000, Rhames started to brainstorm ways to raise funds while having a fun time.

“I was looking for a way to combine the good cause of fundraising for the dock with an activity at the park everyone would find fun and interesting to do,” Rhames said. “What could be better in summer than having some wacky games on kayaks and paddle boards on a beautiful lake.”

The event will include relay races, an obstacle course, a speed race and a scavenger hunt. There will be single kayak and tandem kayak competitions in each of the events depending on how many participants in each category there are. The obstacle course will model a slalom course around a series of buoys, and the scavenger hunt will be a race to try to find a number of hole punches with unique hole designs to punch your card using GPS to find the punches.

The events will be split into four age groups: 12 to 16, 17 to 25, 26 to 40 and 40 plus. Any minors participating must have parents in attendance. Rhames said a few kayaks will be available for rent, but the number is limited. Snacks and water will be provided at check-in and a food truck from Mi Cocina will be on hand throughout the event. Rhames said a representative from the Red Rock Army Corps of Engineers will also be there providing water and boating safety courses and Pelican Kayaks will have models to test drive during the games.

A $20 entry fee will get participants access to as many events in their age bracket as they want. Prizes will be handed out of individual winners of each event and a grand prize of a $700 kayak will be on the table for anyone who participates. Two life vests, a paddle, an anchor, Yak Attack gear and a bunch of swag from Quarry Springs Outfitters suppliers will also be given away during the games.

The event is sponsored by Quarry Spring Outfitters, a local business who rents and sells kayaks, paddle boards and accessories for and from the park. It also supports the park through donations and by providing a percentage of the business proceeds back to the park.

As for the name Wacky Yakker, Rhames said it is a fitting term to describe the fun-loving yakkers, including himself.

“I’ve stressed the word ‘FUN’ many times during this, that’s what I want to accomplish during the event,” Rhames said. “I hope people leave the event wanting to return to the park frequently and asking me to have a Wacky Yakker Games every year going forward.”

Along with raising funds for the ADA dock, Rhames hopes the games showcase the hidden gem that is Quarry Springs Park.

“Even though Quarry Springs Park has been in existence as a park about four years now, it is still a relatively unknown destination,” Rhames said. “I would hope that as the participants get to travel around the lake during the events, they recognize how beautiful the park is and all the hard work the volunteers have put in to get it as far as they have.

“In terms of a draw to the park, it’s easy to get to right off Interstate 80, on the back part of the lakes you almost forget you are next to both a freeway and a city, the lakes are spring fed and very clear and whether you fish or just paddle, it’s never crowded. Of the 480 acres included in the park, 240 acres is water. It’s a lot bigger than most folks know.”

In addition to all of the activities at the games, a one-of-a-kind piece of art will be raffled off. A Stars and Bars Anchor donated by Tightline Anchors and Nevada Cerakote features a red, white and blue custom made memorial piece that is “showcase ready.” Raffle tickets will be sold for $10 each at the games, quarryspringsoutfitters.com or at the park during rental hours. A drawing to announce the winner will be Memorial Day.

“We couldn’t think of a better day to give away this item that honors all military personnel, past and present,” Rhames said.

For more information about the event or to donate to the ADA dock, contact Rhames at quarryspringsoutfitters@gmail.com.

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