Ocean City Today

‘Cool Runnin’s Fastest Server on Da Beach’

By Kara Hallissey | Jul 27, 2017
Photo by: Kara Hallissey Brian Senseny, representing Harpoon Hanna’s, took an early lead during the sixth annual “Cool Runnin’s Fastest Server on Da Beach” competition at the 49th Street bar and restaurant on Tuesday. Fifty-five participants took part in this year’s contest, navigating through sharp turns scattered with tables and chairs, balanced their trays while doing the limbo through a kiddie pool, dodged dancing inflatables and ran through tires. All proceeds benefit the Believe in Tomorrow Foundation on 66th Street.

(July 28, 2017) Participants will race through a beach obstacle course balancing a tray of drinks including a bottle of Tropicale beer, a glass of wine and a can of Red Bull during the eighth annual “Cool Runnin’s Fastest Server on Da Beach” contest at Seacrets on Tuesday, Aug. 1.

Area bartenders, waiters and waitresses will put their skills on display while competing for a first-place prize package worth at least $1,000 at the 49th Street establishment.

“The goal is to have the most participants as possible that way we give Children’s House the most money as possible,” said Christine Komlos, event organizer and Seacrets’ front-of-house manager. “It is absolutely my favorite charity. The fact they give those kids and their families a vacation from hospital stays and everything they deal with makes it an amazing charity.”

Proceeds will be donated to Believe in Tomorrow’s Children’s House by the Sea, a local nonprofit organization providing a free getaway to the beach for critically ill children and their families whenever they may need to escape the stresses of their child’s illness.

“It’s a fun event to watch people compete,” said Wayne Littleton, coordinator for the Believe in Tomorrow Children’s Respite Housing Program. “Seacrets is so generous for always supporting us and it’s a fun day even if you aren’t participating.”

Spectators are encouraged to come watch the action and enjoy $5 Seacrets spirits and rum specials in the contest area. Seacrets spirits specials include shots and mixed drinks while the contest is going on. There is no cover charge.

“We have drink specials during the contest, there is no stress on yourself and you can cheer on your friends,” Komlos said.

In 2016, 62 people participated in the contest with “Fast Eddie” Clark from BJ’s on the Water taking home first place, which he has won several years. Seacrets raised more than $1,200 for Believe in Tomorrow and at least 200 people came out to catch the action, she added.

“Participation goes up every year and it alway fluctuates,” Komlos said. “We hope for at least 75 people.”

The obstacle course takes servers and bartenders one at a time, up a hill in front of Seacrets’ Beach Stage and back as they dodge tires, chairs, tables, navigate a kiddie pool and go under a limbo stick. The entire time, service industry employees carry a tray with a Tropicale bottle, a wine glass and a can of Red Bull.

“It is so fun and hysterical seeing them run and almost get to the finish line just to drop everything… going so fast,” Komlos said. “You see people come in groups from the same restaurant and wear the same outfits. It’s a blast to see them race through.

“We come up with something new [for the obstacle course every year],” she added. “Look for another surprise.”

Servers cannot touch the tray with their other hand and if anything falls over they are disqualified.

The fastest time wins and the first-place finisher takes home a prize package worth at least $1,000 in gift cards, cash, prizes and other donations from local businesses. In addition, the winner will receive a ticket for a chance at $10,000 from the annual Believe in Tomorrow fundraiser. Last year’s prize package was worth at least $2,300 with $500 in cash, a Seacrets Gold card, gift cards from local businesses and concert tickets, Komlos said.

“I put my staff in teams and they go out with a letter and a flyer to local businesses [explaining the event and donations to Believe in Tomorrow],” Komlos said. “The letter asks for a donation in the form of a gift card or merchandise for the prize packages.”

The top three finishers will receive a trophy in addition to cash and prizes donated from local businesses. Last year, second place took home about $1,460 in prizes including $250 in cash from Seacrets. Third place was given $665 in prizes including $100 in cash from Seacrets.

All participants will take home a souvenir T-shirt and there will also be a 50/50 raffle.

Believe in Tomorrow volunteers will be onsite selling raffle tickets and merchandise, such as T-shirts and wristbands throughout the event, which starts at 12:30 p.m. and lasts until the last server has run the course and is judged by volunteers from the organization, Komlos said.

“Believe in Tomorrow volunteers come and will referee,” Komlos said. “They help out all day and are great people. They will have a table set up selling T-shirts and raffle tickets.”

Since the contest’s inception, Seacrets has donated close to $10,000 to the nonprofit organization, Littleton said.

“It’s a good day to laugh and have fun,” Littleton said. “I participated when I was younger and it was at the convention center. It’s just a happy and fun day. It has grown every year at Seacrets and they make a nice donation. They are kindhearted people with huge hearts and always think of us.”

When Seacrets employees were asked to come up with new events to feature at the 49th Street establishment eight years ago, Komlos thought it would be a good idea to bring back the waiter and waitress race.

“Let’s do it for the Believe in Tomorrow charity because that is my favorite charity and it stuck,” Komlos said. “It is a community event and a time where you get to see people during the busy summer. A great day to make new friends too.”

Organizers of the event are still looking for cash donations, merchandise or gift cards from bars, restaurants and businesses to fill the prize packages for winners.

“Our goal is to have as many participants as possible to raise money for Children’s House,” Komlos said. “It’s been successful. Every year it’s gotten better and people have been asking when it is.”

Registration starts at 11:30 a.m. for the Cool Runnin’s Fastest Server on Da Beach contest. The $20 registration fee will benefit the Believe in Tomorrow Foundation. Waiters, waitresses and bartenders must work in Ocean City or surrounding areas and be 21 or older to participate.

For more information, call Seacrets at 410-524-4900 or visit www.seacrets.com.

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