7th year running for toilet bowl challenge

By on September 2, 2011

American Legion Post 312
The 7th Annual
Toilet Bowl Challenge

Maple Park Fun Fest
Saturday, Sept. 3, at 1 p.m.
203 Main St., Maple Park

Entry fee: $15 per team
Prizes for fastest teams:
1st: $100, 2nd: $50, 3rd: $25
Prize for most original commode
and costumes: $100

For more information and entry form,
visit www.mapleparklegion.org
or call (630) 774-9288

by Susan O’Neill
They must be doing something right, because crowds of people come out every year to watch the Maple Park Fun Fest Toilet Bowl Challenge. Initiated seven years ago by American Legion member Pat Mudinger, the event has turned out to be one of the biggest draws of the fest.

Teams of three-two pushing and one sitting on the commode—compete for one of two categories: the fastest, and the most originally decorated commode and costumes. Beth Miller and her friends, Colleen Slowick and Amy Jendruczek, have won the Best in Show for the past three years with their various versions of “The Mother Lode.”

Three years ago, the pink-garbed ladies used a play on the words “Pretty in Pink.” Two years ago, dressed as leprechauns, they wowed the crowd with their “Pot of Gold” commode, and last year their “Greased Lightening” won the day. Miller said their theme is usually a surprise, but her hint for this year is that it has something to do with angels.

Miller’s husband, Chuck, and his buddies Lorenzo Catanag and Craig Askew, have won the speed race for the past four years.

“They had a good toilet, a stainless steel one they got from a jail,” Mudinger said. “They practiced and they knew the course—they had it down.”

But they will face a somewhat different challenge this year. Instead of racing two teams at a time against each other, this year’s race will be a timed event. Each team will have two chances to run the obstacle course.

Mudinger said he used a software program called Google’s Sketch-up to draw the course, and instead of traffic cones, the course will include hay bales set up strategically along the way.

“It won’t be as easy this year,” Mudinger said. “There will be sharp turns and a couple of curves.”

Mudinger said he would like to see a few more participants join in the race this year. Typically, about 18 people show up.

“There’s always a lot of spectators,” he said. “It has been a success. People really seem to love it.”