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In the Know: Pulled hamstrings, turf rash for good cause

Pancake feeds, 5K runs, car washes and calendar sales are all options for different fundraisers to support wonderful causes. These events can bring people together working toward a common goal. Have you done the 5K? The 10K? Ever bought cookie dough? Or jumped in a freezing cold lake? All wonderful ways to help advance causes that do great things. I'm sure many of you have done some of these and happy to support different charities.

Are you ready for an upcoming event that maybe you haven't done before? How do pulled hamstrings, turf burns, and bent fingers sound? C'mon — you know you're intrigued.

This April will be my 15th annual Men's Ultimate Frisbee Night. It is held for a variety of reasons. It started back in the early 2000s to simply provide a fun and positive environment for men to come together and hang out. I want connections and friendships to be made. And, I've found that throwing a Frisbee around is a great way to make this happen. Space in this article won't allow me to share the examples of new bonds that have been made from this.

Another thing that happens along the way is some exercise (or maybe a reminder of how fit we used to be). We play Ultimate Frisbee on the turf (imagine football but using a Frisbee — and fewer concussions). Over the 15 years, there have been a few turf burns (hint: don't wear shorts), pulled hamstrings and one bent finger. In spite of these minor injuries, there have been numerous friendships made, laughs shared, and a positive feeling for the guys in attendance.

But the main reason for these nights is to help gather some items and cash for great local charities. All the costs of the event are covered by generous donors. These people cover the cost of the facility rental and a few coolers of water and Gatorade. However, there is an "admission" for guys to come and play. Each night there's a different suggested item to bring in for a local charity. If you don't want to bring the selected item of the night, no problem, you can leave a cash donation.

Come and join me this April. It will be every Wednesday night in April at the NorthStar Christian Academy from 7 to 9 p.m. If you are a guy with a pulse, older than 25 and willing to have some fun and meet some new people all for greater causes, come try it out. Here are the details of the exact dates and what to bring in:

April 3 — men's white socks or cash for Love INC Alexandria.

April 10 — beef jerky or cash for Alexandria Area High School Food Shelf.

April 17 — men's underwear or cash for Pope County Families in Need (cool program started by Jan Arenson that I wrote about in my last Echo Press column).

April 24 — sensory games/toys or cash for "Buddy Break" at Spirit Life Church.

There is no need to sign up or RSVP. Just show up. I promise you the game of Ultimate Frisbee is tons of fun. You will meet new people and have a great time all while building stronger local nonprofits in the name of community building. And this will be much easier than training for the 10K or jumping in a freezing cold lake.

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Tim Urness is actively involved in service groups in the Alexandria area. "In the Know" is a rotating column written by community leaders from the Douglas County area.

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