First Golden Seal Charity Challenge will benefit YDC

Posted: September 7, 2013

The Winchester Star

Anne McDonough (left) and Danielle Beauvais scale the log wall during a demonstration of the events in the Golden Seal Enterprises Charity Challenge to benefit the YDC. Teams of five will compete in seven events — swimming, running, fire starter, shooting, first aid, log wall and sandbag shuffle. (Photo by Ginger Perry/The Winchester Star)
Jesse Beatty (left) and Tim Elliott build a log wall, one of the challenges of the upcoming Golden Seal Charity challenge to benefit the Youth Development Center. Each team will build a log wall, each team member will climb over the wall, and then they will deconstruct the wall. There are seven events for the challenge. (Photo by Ginger Perry/The Winchester Star)

Winchester — The Youth Development Center will push people to the limits with its newest fundraiser.

The organization will hold its first Golden Seal Charity Challenge Sept. 28, daring teams to test their strength, agility and teamwork skills in seven challenges, said Regina O’Brien, executive director of YDC.

The cost is $450 per team, which will be made up of five people 16 and older and have at least two males and two females.

Organizers are hoping to have up to 20 teams compete. Registration is due by Sept. 15.

For the challenge, each member of the group will participate in the challenges, which involve swimming, running, starting a fire, shooting, first aid, log wall and carrying sandbags, she said.

“I loved the idea for the fact that it had seven challenges, but also the fact they were very creative,” she said.

The idea for the fundraiser came from Marci Carter and Frank Phillips, who co-own Golden Seal Enterprises, a Winchester-based security company.

Carter, who became a board member in 2012, said she has seen the growing popularity of mud runs and wanted to offer something that would be a challenge but not just a running event.

“My husband is a former Navy SEAL. Some of the activities probably came from his experience going through SEAL training,” said Carter, of Boyce.

Competitors will meet at 8 a.m. Sept. 28 at the pool at Jim Barnett Park to complete a section involving a 250-meter relay race (each team member swims 50 meters), O’Brien said. They then head to the track at Daniel Morgan Middle School, where each person runs 400 meters in a relay race.

The final five events take place at Golden Seal, 230 Aviation Drive.

Each team will build a fire using only a flint, steel, bunting and wood; shoot an M-4 carbine rifle and an M-9 Beretta; take a stack of logs, build a wall that they have to scale, and deconstruct it; provide the required first aid and proper transport to save “Mr. Sandman,” and move 20 sandbags from one point to another using teamwork.

“It is called a challenge because it should be slightly physically tasking,” Carter said. “We are hoping it brings the community together and also provides an event that isn’t just something really easy for people to do.”

The big messages behind the different activities are teamwork and physical fitness, which is a great representation of what YDC does, O’Brien said. She is looking forward to the entire event, but especially the activities at Golden Seal. “I have seen people run and swim, but I haven’t seen people compete in these other events.”

Except for the shooting challenge, which will be judged on accuracy, all the other events are timed to determine the winner, O’Brien said. Each activity will have a winner, and an overall champion team will receive an award.

Spectators are welcome to watch the competitions, she said.

Materials and locations are being donated or sponsored so all the entry fees can go directly to YDC, O’Brien said. The money will go toward the organization’s $250,000 budget, about half of which comes from the fundraisers it holds each year.

“It is a very difficult environment right now, so this is a wonderful addition and we are honored Marci and Frank thought of this,” O’Brien said.

She also likes that the challenge allows teenagers 16 and above to compete against adults. YDC’s primary target group is middle and high school students, providing them with the opportunity for recreational and educational programs focused on their total development.

The center also has some programming for elementary age students and adults. “We run anywhere from 300 to 500 people every week using the facility and in the programs.”

The event will be held rain or shine.


The Youth Development Center’s Golden Seal Charity Challenge will be held Sept. 28 in Winchester. Teams of five will compete in seven challenges. The cost is $450 per team. Registration due Sept. 15. For more information, contact 540-662-4564 or or go to myydc.orgto download the registration form.

— Contact Laura McFarland at