NetWorld Alliance participates in 2011 Kentucky Derby Festival Bed Races
NetWorld Alliance employees outfitted in comic book-inspired costumes entertained a crowd of about 5,000 at the Stock Yards Bank Derby Festival Great Bed Races, held at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky., on May 2.
This year's event reflected the "SuperFest" theme, with contestants and beds decorated to resemble comic book characters and super heroes. NetWorld's Silver Surfer, accompanied by his loyal "Net Surfers," made a big splash at the event.
Jeff Cummins, SVP of finance and accounting, played the Marvel Comics' Silver Surfer role enthusiastically, and was joined by teammates Bobby Renaud, VP of events, Greg Griffith, marketing services administrator, Willie Lawless, designer, and Ben Miller, account executive.
"The crowd was going crazy and everyone wanted a picture. Our team was really the best, from bed decorators and bed pushers, to parade participants," Cummins said. "The Silver Surfer was one of the few drivers to drive in character and really play to the crowd. A grown man jumping up and down on a bed in a silver spandex suit is rather entertaining, it seems."
Teams pushed decorated beds on wheels around the "track," competing for the fastest times, as well as decoration and entertainment awards. Prizes went to the teams with the three fastest times, as well as for the "Best Decorated Bed," "Most Entertaining," "People's Choice," "Most Likely to Break Down," "Cone Eater" and "Worst New Course Record" categories.
Costume coordinators and bed decorators included Jennifer Recktenwald, senior administrator, Sandy Prendergast, VP of personnel and administration, Robynne Gardner, designer, Toni Johnson, marketing services administrator, and Kim Brown, manager of marketing services.
This was the first time NetWorld assembled a team for the event, and the team is optimistic about next year's race.
"It was cold and rainy, but that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of our team. It was so much fun," Recktenwald said. "We worked hard to decorate creatively, and cheer our runners and the Silver Surfer on to the finish line. And we're looking forward to next year!"
Forty-six entries participated in the 22nd annual Bed Races, one of the many Kentucky Derby Festival events leading up to the Run for the Roses, held this year on May 7.
"It was a great experience in teamwork for our entire company," said NetWorld Alliance Chairman Alan Fryrear. "It was fun and exciting, and it was great to see the enthusiasm that was shown at the event. We didn’t win anything, but I bet we had the best time."
NBC TODAY Show: Derby Days Start With Bed Races
WAVE3 News Coverage of Derby Bed Races (Watch the NetWorld team's race starting at about 2:25 into Part 2.)