Even so, Neighborhood Services Organization will stage its first-ever fundraiser in the groups nearly 100-year history on Saturday by having participants dine on some of the metros tastiest morsels and then lumber, full-bellied, through the city streets.
We want to attract fierce competitors, savvy eaters; we want everyone, said Stacey Ninness, NSO executive director. And we will have sick stops along the race, so itll be good.
NSO provides health and housing services for homeless or those at risk of being homeless. Ninness said in 2010, NSO aided 72,000 in-need people.
Although the organization has continued working to help the disadvantaged since its 1920 inception, the wider public is still unaware of the good work it does.
Nobody knows about us, Ninness said. We needed to do something that will make this great agency more visible, raise the awareness within the community.
Rather than starting off the event with an ambitious goal for raising funds, Ninness said that the organization just wanted to test the waters to see the response. The eat-and-run idea came from Rusty Duncan, an NSO board member.
Over each year, Im sure it will evolve, but we didnt want to start at the triathlon level, Ninness said. Its not long-distance. Its 1.3 miles, so its not too bad. I guess its easy for me to say that, because Im not eating and running.
Iguana was among the first groups to sign up to provide food for the event. Chef Ryan Parrott said the restaurant doesnt spend a lot of money on advertising, and often looks for opportunities like these to join efforts with an organization in a way that is mutually beneficial.
We cant be so isolated that we only think about whats happening inside our building, Parrott said. We are very concerned about whats going on in our community, and that means reaching out to nonprofits and people in our community.
Sara Sara Cupcakes, Kaisers American Bistro and Prairie Thunder Baking Co. will joining Iguana in challenging runners gastro-dexterity with a number of savory and robust dishes.
There are a lot of competitions, a lot of runs organized and eating competitions, but having it combined is interesting, Parrott said. I dont know that eating a spicy taco and running is a great idea, but itll certainly be fun to watch.