A participant in a previous year’s Beach Olympics in Old Orchard Beach competes in the bubble gum blowing contest.

A participant in a previous year’s Beach Olympics in Old Orchard Beach competes in the bubble gum blowing contest.

OLD ORCHARD BEACH — Two long-standing events this weekend will bring fun ways to help others.

The 32nd annual Beach Olympics, raising money for Special Olympics Maine, kicks off Friday night with an opening ceremony at 7 p.m. and a performance by High Ryders Golden Oldies Show.

Saturday there will be a number of games and competitions for children from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., including an ice cream eating contest, bubble gum blowing contest and skee ball competition.

“They’re very fun,” said Old Orchard Beach Chamber of Commerce Director Kim Verreault.

Saturday a silent auction will begin in the town square at 10 a.m., with closing bids at 5 p.m. There will be a number of items up for grabs including: a paddle board, a night’s stay at a hotel and gift cards to local retail stores and restaurants.

“People were very, very generous,” said Verreault.

There will also be a 50/50 raffle, music during the day Saturday and Sunday by D.J. Ray Cote, and another performance Saturday night at 7 p.m. by the High Ryders Golden Oldies Show.

A miniature golf fundraiser will be held Sunday at Pirate’s Cove course from 9 a.m. to noon.

Verreault said she believes the event, as it has in years past, will raise more than $10,000 for Special Olympics Maine.

The 20th annual Breakaway 5K will be held Saturday morning. The event is a major fundraiser for MAPS scholarship fund, which supports 11 local scholarships. This year, the race is dedicated to the memories of Jerome LePelletier, Paul Brady, Joseph Mokarzel, Carolyn LaChance and Paul “Chubby” Ladakakos.

The race, which begins at 7:40 a.m., will follow a new course this year. It will begin at the corner of Walnut Street and West Grand Avenue and finish at The Brunswick, where a postrace all-you-can-eat breakfast will be served for $6.99 and an awards ceremony will be held.

Cost to participate in the 5K is $17. For more information, go to www.oobmaps.org .

Event Organizer Peter Flaherty attributes the long -time success of the race to the affordability of the event.

The event is also known for its cool T-shirts, designed by MAPS foundation trustee Stuart Hogan.

Flaherty said this year’s design is a surprise, but promised, “It will be a keeper.”

The Marilyn and Nat Golzbein Fun Run will be held at 9:05 a.m. The $15 cost for children to participate includes a T-shirt, French fries, pizza and ice cream, as well as two hours of free rides at Palace Playland and a free pass to York Wild Animal Kingdom. Flaherty said all kids who participate in the fun run will receive a medal.

— Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 325 or [email protected]


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