Future Crazy K may look different

Future Crazy K may look different

URBANA — While the Champaign County Fairgrounds have been the perfect place for his one-of-a-kind charity event, things there have gotten a little too busy to continue hosting the CarX Crazy K, Parham Parastaran said Tuesday.

"The fairgrounds (have) been good to us, especially when we first started this event" in 2011, Parastaran said by phone from Florida on Tuesday, one day after it was announced the Crazy K was off for 2016.

"They made it really easy for us to be able to do everything, but events like this are difficult. We've got tons of stuff we're carrying in and building, and we tear up the ground. ... They've gotten busier with more events, and our event requires a lot of flexibility (with setup). It's not a bad thing; they've been good for us."

The 5K obstacle course, which has raised more than $300,000 for local charities in five runnings, takes several weeks to set up, fair board President Mike Kobel said. But scheduling issues haven't posed any problem he was aware of, adding, "That's something (Parastaran) and I should talk about."

Location isn't the only reason Parastaran said he plans to evaluate the event's future during its 2016 hiatus. Come 2017, it may look entirely different.

"My mind is restless right now. I need a year to reevaluate everything," Parastaran said. "The whole thing could be newly invented, but it will definitely entail families. It will be something the entire family can do together and enjoy."

Parastaran said he never wants to get out of the charity business — "It's what I care about" — but that future Crazy Ks may involve fewer organizations. Funds raised during recent Crazy Ks were divvied up by more than 30 charities.

"We've got lots of charities involved, possibly too many involved," Parastaran said. "This event requires lots of assistance and some don't have the time and resources. And some, to be frank, don't work hard.

"So we may change it so that only, maybe, 15 charities can be involved. Some really worked their tail off, but some didn't."

Since breaking the news online Monday, Parastaran said he's received an "overwhelming" amount of emails and Facebook posts. He was even contacted by a representative of the Fisher Fairgrounds about it possibly hosting the event, he said.

Parastaran, who said he couldn't have made it through five years without help from volunteers like Adam LeGrande and Bob Schimmel, would like to work on partnering with another organization to run the 2017 Crazy K.

One day, he said, someone else can "own it and make it their own."

"It's amazing so many people care and are so bummed out," he said. "It really has energized me. The whole event is unbelievably time-consuming, but when you see all the emails I've gotten, it really reminds me why I do it."

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