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NPD Triumphs Over NFD, Young Life to Win the BGCN Bed Race

(The Times photo by Betsy Reason)
Noblesville Police Department’s team — made up of Officer Miles Reichard (from left), Officer Garrett Anderson, Deputy Chief of Patrol Eric Cunningham, and Assistant Chief Brad Arnold with with McGruff the Crime Dog, Addie Cunningham holding on — cross the finish line to win the 10th annual Darlington Bed Race on Friday night benefiting the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville.

Noblesville Police Department earned bragging rights and grand champion trophy in the 10th annual Darlington Bed Race netting more than $18,000 to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville.

Bystanders lined Ninth Street, which was blocked off, to watch Friday night’s race, which brought out teams in a double-elimination tournament, during which NPD beat every competitor along the way, including the Noblesville Fire Department.

The Times photo by Betsy Reason
Noblesville Police Department’s team — made up of Assistant Chief Brad Arnold, Deputy Chief of Patrol Eric Cunningham, Officer Garrett Anderson and Officer Miles Reichard, with McGruff the Crime Dog, Addie Cunningham — won the 10th annual Darlington Bed Race on Friday night benefiting the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville.

The team was made up of Noblesville Assistant Chief Brad Arnold, Deputy Chief of Patrol Eric Cunningham, Officer Garrett Anderson and Officer Miles Reichard, with McGruff the Crime Dog, Addie Cunningham, riding on the official bed.

What was their key to winning the race?

“Our key was simply to beat the (Noblesville) Fire Department,” said a smiling Arnold.

“We have this intramural rivalry with the Fire Department, and we’ve beat them in everything so far, that’s why we’re 7-0. So now we need to change that to 8-0. That was our motivation right there,” he said.

(The Times photo by Betsy Reason)
The 10th annual Darlington Bed Race, benefiting the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville, is organized annually by the Club’s unit director Abby Stutesman, an employee of 22 years who herself grew up in the Club.

“Once we beat them a couple of times (in the bed race), and then they lost, we were just out here to have fun,” Arnold said.

They rented from the Boys & Girls Club a generic bed, which has four wheels and four handles to push and an egg crate for the rider, made by Tyler Truss Systems Inc. Eight of the teams rented a bed from the Club for $50 each.

After NPD secured the bed, they “started looking around the police department” putting pieces together — bike lights, signs and yellow “Police Line Do Not Cross” barricade safety tape — to decorate the bed.

Any bed race practice or rehearsal? Not until the practice run on the night of the bed race. It was their first time in the race. “This was kind of new to us,” said Arnold, whose teammates made one practice lap without one of the teammates who was on his way to the race. But once the race started, no one could stop the NPD. Even though the most difficult part of the lap during the race was turning the bed. “Turning, that’s where it’s all at. We lucked into a good strategy, and it worked for us.”

(The Times photo by Betsy Reason)
Noblesville Preservation Alliance’s team, the Roaring Twenties, wasn’t the fastest in the 10th annual Darlington Bed Race, however, the entry earned the team the event’s People’s Choice award, one that the nonprofit has won for most of the years of the race, and featured participants gangsters Dennis Smith (left), Tim Parker, Jason Compton and Lauren Parker (flapper, who rode on the bed).

The officers stay in shape, obviously due to their jobs. “We don’t sit in Lazyboys and watch video games like the fire department,” Arnold said, jokingly, still poking fun at NFD for losing to them.

NPD Chief John Mann was right there cheering them on. “They did a great job … They put this together at the last minute.”

NPD, which won a bed-shaped trophy, also won a $250 first-place award which they donated back to the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville.

(The Times photo by Betsy Reason)
The 10th annual Darlington Bed Race runner-up was the Noblesville Young Life team made up of local teens, representing the Young Life ministry group. The race benefited the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville.

Donations, during a “text to give” campaign Friday night brought in $7,030, which was matched, dollar-per-dollar, by George Kristo of Noblesville, for a total of $14,060. Kristo has offered matches during several previous BGCN fundraisers. The total netted for the event, including entry fees and sponsors, was more than $18,000, surpassing the club’s $10,000 goal, said BGCN executive director Becky Terry, who was thrilled with the event.

The event is organized annually by the Club’s unit director Abby Stutesman, an employee of 22 years who herself grew up in the Club.

(The Times photo by Betsy Reason)
Noblesville’s Gene Ott, emcee for the 10th annual Darlington Bed Race to benefit the Boys & Girls Club, gets the crowd singing during a “YMCA” song during a break of the race.

Runner-up was the Noblesville Young Life team made up of local teens, representing the Young Life ministry group.

There were total 10 teams: Borg Warner, Noblesville Police Department, Noblesville Education Foundation, Noblesville Fire Department, “Fish Out of Water” Noblesville Parks & Recreation Department, Noblesville Preservation Alliance, “Street Sharks” Parker Mortgage/Finance of America, Noblesville Young Life, Tom & Soni Sheehan Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville and Darlington Snacks.

This year’s bed race, once again, brought out the creativity.

(The Times photo by Betsy Reason)
Noblesville Young Life team made up of local teens, representing the Young Life ministry group, crosses the finish line. The team won runner-up in the 10th annual Darlington Bed Race to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville.

NPA’s Team, the Roaring Twenties, wasn’t the fastest in the race, however, the entry earned the team the event’s People’s Choice award, one that the nonprofit has won for most of the years of the race. Some of the past NPA themes have been Harrell Hospital & Sanatorium, 1909-1951, played on the theme of the historic Noblesville hospital with a patient riding in the bed pushed by costumed runners dressed in white lab coats; maids and butlers pushing a Victorian lady on a canopy bed; Gay Nineties, or 1890s, with costumed runners in old-fashioned bathing suits, pushing a bathing beauty in a boat. This year’s NPA participants were Lauren Parker (flapper, who rode on the bed) and gangsters, Tim Parker (her husband), Jason Compton and Dennis Smith. Lauren Parker said the entry was originally Roaring Twenties for the 2020 race, which was canceled due to the Covid. Cheers to NPA’s participation and creativity.

To make a donation to the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville or keep up with other fundraising events, visit https://bgcni.org/

– Contact Betsy Reason at betsy@thetimes24-7.com.