2019 Fun Run weekend is here; 19th annual event all set, with prize party Saturday night at Fortune Bay

by Tom Coombe -

The prospect of bone-chilling temperatures isn’t cooling plans for the 19th Annual Fun Run.
One of the area’s biggest winter events is on for this weekend, with a giant prize give-away and wrap up party at 7 p.m. Saturday night at Fortune Bay Resort and Casino.
Earlier in the day, those that decide to brave the cold will ride snowmobiles between check points in Ely, Tower and Babbitt, amassing more chances to win some of the hundreds of prizes to be given away.
But despite the cold weather, the event will go on as scheduled and there are opportunities for those who opt against riding their ‘sleds in the cold.
Many participants travel by car between the check points (Ely- Grand Ely Lodge; Babbitt - Tanks Bar; Tower - Benchwarmers) and others simply show up at Fortune Bay, where their advance or same-day registration puts them in the running for 20 grand prizes including $1,000 and $500 in cash.
Over 450 door prizes will also be given away, and the family-friendly event also includes children’s prizes and several other giveaways and games with numerous valuable prizes.
About 600 people had pre-registered for the event, as of Tuesday, but organizers expect a slew of same-day registrations as turnout approaches last year’s record of 1,004.
The event is taking place a week earlier than usual this year because of a scheduling conflict at Fortune Bay.
Prizes, Prizes, Prizes
The 20 grand prizes awarded tonight are just part of a giveaway that figures to send most participants home with at least one, if not more than one item.
One of the most popular Fun Run events is the “Pick your Prize” table, with over 50 valuable prizes set to be given away, including a carved bald eagle bench valued at $1,800. A 50-inch television, pair of Steger Mukluks, a gun cabinet, oak chest, hand-made bench, a pontoon fishing boat, a guided fishing trip and a year’s supply of bread are just some of the other prizes in this giveaway, with tickets available at $5 a chance.
A Stihl battery-operated chain saw and a Dewalt cordless impact drive are the top prizes at Joe’s Marine Stihl of Deal table. Tickets are $5 each or three for $10.
The Fun Run Summer Fun in the Sun Giveaway is headlined by a Husqvarna Trailer, a hand-made wooden bench and RYOBI Lawn Trimmer and a $100 gift card from Lakeshore Liquor. Tickets are $5 each of three for $10.
It’s the same price for tickets for Tank’s Bar and Economy Garage Party.
The top prize is an Economy Garage Door Opener, with installation, valued at $500. A giant wine bucket an eight-hour snowmobile rental and various $50 gift cards are among the other prizes.
Fun Run participants may also take part in a pair of games, including “Queens Pong,” in which a person will bounce a ping pong ball in a numbered cup. Chances are two for $5, five for $10 or 11 for $20 with a grand prize of a 50-inch color television, a metal frame northern lights picture and various gift cards.
A 55-inch flat screen will be awarded to the winner of the Golden Nugget Giveaway Game. Four tickets to a Minnesota Wild game and numerous $50 gift cards are part of the prize list. It’s $5 a chance or three for $10.
All proceeds from the event earmarked to help maintain snowmobile trails in the region.