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Although she’s competed in triathlons, it isn’t surprising to hear that Bertie’s Inn Belt Sander Race on Saturday, July 14 was Sue Nemiroff’s first time competing in a belt sander race. When asked if she would participate again next year, she said, “Absolutely! As ridiculous as it is, it’s a good time. Plus, it’s for a good cause.”
Nemiroff’s Ragin’ Cajun International Belt Sander Racing Team was just one of thirty teams to participate in the truly ridiculous 22nd Annual Bertie’s Inn Belt Sander race, which raised approximately $10,000 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
For the past 22 years, co-owners Peter and Anne Thomas, along with many volunteers and participating teams, have raised $7,000 to $10,000 each year for the MS Society.
Bertie’s donates the proceeds from all the food and non-alcoholic beverages purchased the day of the race. Plus, they sell T-shirts and request a $1.00 entrance donation. Each of the teams raises money and pays an entrance fee. Volunteers help set up the track and bleachers, power the belt sanders, collect donations, and serve food during the race.
The “race” is a series of double-elimination heats. Participants sit on a small piece of wood that is attached to a belt sander and race down a 40-foot wooden track. The rules are pretty simple; the first person to cross the finish line wins.
Nemiroff said the hardest part is the bucking start. If you can get past that, you’re good to go. Another participant, Michelle Devine, Exeter, said it’s important to focus on balance, not care what anyone thinks, and have fun. This was Devine’s, a Bertie’s employee, second year in the race.
This year’s winners were first place - Amber Shubert from DJ Hess Construction, second place - Tarah Miksitz from Smooth Operator, third place - Joan Stevens from Coventry Ice Cream Parlor and fourth place Susan Neiroff from Ragin’ Cajun International Belt Sander. Ragin’ Cajun also won the trophy for raising the most money by contributing $4650.
Berties is located at 160 Old Friedensburg Rd., Exeter Township. Check out their website – www.BertiesInn.com - for photographs from previous races. For more information and details about forming your own team, call 610-779-5797.