Little wheels get rolling for big cause at O’Brien’s Corner

Date: 9/3/2014

SPRINGFIELD – Kim Clemons, founder of Big People Little Wheels, is hoping that adults will embrace their inner child for a unique fundraiser on Sept. 13 to benefit cancer research.

“I have tried to live for today since my cancer,” Clemons said during an interview with Reminder Publications. “I don’t think twice anymore if something arises that sounds fun to do because I have learned that life is too short to miss out on the good stuff.”

Clemons, the mother of two adult children, is not only overseeing the obstacle course challenge with her co-founder Debbie Dobbson, she will also be a participant.

“I challenged Debbie to a race one night while working at The New O’Brien’s Corner last year on the Big Wheel I found outside,” she said. “We agreed that if we were going to race we could raise some money for Rays of Hope, especially since I was recovering myself from this awful disease.”

Clemons, now in remission, is grateful for each day she has – to enjoy friends, family and to raise funds to help others.

“The fundraiser is full of fun and excitement,” she said. “Adults 18 and older ride little kid toys such as tricycles, scooters, Big Wheels, small bikes with training wheels, skate boards, and unicycles.”

 The obstacle course will be set up in the parking lot at The New O’Brien’s Corner, 1082 Page Blvd.

“We have cones that everyone is made to go around which is actually pretty difficult on some of the bikes,” said Clemons. “We are in the planning stages for a little more challenging track than last year to raise the stakes.”

Clemons added that a few “wheels” will be available and everyone attending can also bring their own.

There is a $20 donation requested to race and awards are planned for the winners.

“I think everyone should come out and support our cause because it seems that everyone either knows someone whom has had cancer, a family whom lost their battle to it, or even might have had to struggle through it themselves,” she said.

Proceeds raised from this year’s event, planned from 1 to 6 p.m., will benefit Rays of Hope through the Baystate Health Foundation and The Celebration of Hope which donates to four local charities supporting different types of cancers.

“The event will make everyone laugh,” she said, adding, “it brings us back to our childhood and gives everyone a chance to enjoy each other’s friendship while challenging them to the race.”

In addition to the obstacle course race, Clemons and Dobbson will have chicken, hot dogs, and pasta salad available, as well as Brian Fowler Productions providing the musical entertainment. Raffles are also planned and will include a television, tickets to a Patriots game, and a lottery wheel. A dunking booth rounds out the festivities.

In the event of rain on Sept. 13, the fundraiser will be conducted Sept. 14. There is on-street parking available as well as a second parking lot adjacent to O’Brien’s.

For more information or to donate a raffle prize, contact Clemons at 783-9213 or via e-mail to waddles217@comcast.net.

“Last year we raised just about $4,000 for Rays of Hope so we are hopeful to exceed that amount this year since we are also donating to The Celebration of Hope,”  Clemons said.