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Thursday, 05 May 2016 20:27

Third Annual Temecula Reality Rally Featured

Written by  Dr. Kristina Nelson
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Created by Temecula resident and prior Reality TV show “Survivor” contestant Gillian Larson, the third annual Reality Rally attracted over 140 reality TV stars from a variety of shows and seasons. A charitable event Larson developed five years ago, the rally invited a wide variety of reality series stars to Temecula and pitted them against each other in a creative race to gather donations for Michelle’s Place. Michelle’s Place offers services to women struggling with breast cancer, including counseling, monetary support, cosmetic services, support groups and assistance with health care appointments. The clinic serves around seven hundred patients a month.

The Temecula Reality Rally brought much more than a reality television spectacle to the city. Larson’s brain child also evoked a feeling of community togetherness for a charity, encouraging Temecula residents and visiting outsiders to donate funds and support women suffering from breast cancer.

Part of the schedule for the Reality Rally included obtaining a better understanding of Michelle’s Place and its contributions to breast cancer patients. The Reality Rally kicked off with a tour of the facility, educating those attending the event not only about what Michelle’s Place does but also about breast cancer as a disease. By raising both funds and awareness from the outset of the rally, Larson started the event with a reminder of the true purpose of the race: encouraging the community to garner support for this cause.

Saturday’s schedule in old Town Temecula included a welcoming from Temecula city officials as well as introductions in front of City Hall. At noon on Saturday, reminiscent of “The Amazing Race,” 59 groups of four reality star packs ran against each other, encountering various obstacles and tests.

While a good deal of the fun and laughter occurred during the competition, the Temecula Reality Rally was not really about watching the trials the reality stars confronted during the race. Viewers were encouraged throughout to remember the real reason the rally exists. As much as $10,000 to $20,000 in funds came to Michelle’s Place in previous years as a result of the festivities. The rally’s focus on both educating the community and collecting donations to help breast cancer sufferers shows how Larson’s idea, combined with the support of Temecula’s residents, continued to make this a successful event the city can take part in with pride.

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