07/30/12 — Fundraiser will put toads on race track

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Fundraiser will put toads on race track

By Kelly Corbett
Published in News on July 30, 2012 1:46 PM

Isabella Bauer, 2, held her toad with one hand.

She and her brothers often search around Stepping Stones Stables for the small creatures.

And it was her 11-year-old brother, Jacob, who came up with the idea to use the toads to make some money for the stables.

The first Tournament of Toads fundraiser will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday at Stepping Stones Stables, located at 1194 Capps Bridge Road in Pikeville.

"The toad race is to raise money for footing in the barn," said Jana Foote, program director.

Ms. Foote and Heather Bauer, Jacob's mother, have been working together on the details of the event, right down to the checkered flags and T-shirts.

Jacob likes to search with Isabella and his 9-year-old brother, Connor, around the stables for the toads.

He even found a red toad -- a type he had never seen before.

And now they will be able to watch his colorful toad and others go head-to-head in the short race.

"I said let's make it a small fundraiser since it's his first one," Ms. Foote said. "I'm sure we will have another."

About 30 toads will compete in the race.

"And they'll run six at a time," Ms. Foote said.

She said since this is NASCAR country, the heats will be referred to as qualifiers.

The race track, built out of wood, has six lanes for the toads to compete. With one tap on the rear-end, the toads will be off to make it to the finish line as quick as they can.

The two names for the race, which are painted on the sides of the track, are also plays on NASCAR ... and horse racing -- "Ken-Toady Derby" and "Day-Toady 500."

The money raised will go toward evening out the flooring in the barn, making it easier for people walking or in wheelchairs to get around.

The 3- by 4-foot mats that will line the barn cost $44 each.

But it is only $2 to enter a toad in the race -- "a price every child can afford," Ms. Foote said.

Every entry to the race will bring in a total of $7, because each toad jockey needs to raise $5 from sponsors prior to the race.

Toad-themed concessions, $1 each, will be available at the race, including toadgurt, toadlegs, toad juice and blended toad ice.

And spectators are welcome.

"We think we will probably have about 100 people out here," Ms. Foote said.

First through sixth-place winners will be award gold, silver and bronze trophies, in the shape of a toad.

"It's BYOT (Bring Your Own Toad) ... or we provide," Ms. Foote said. "We have toads everywhere."

After the race, all of the toads will be placed back into their habitats and colonies.