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Local Nonprofit Raises Tens of Thousands of Dollars to Help Students Attend College

By Silas Wright, East Idaho News

IDAHO FALLS — If raising money to help people go to college is satisfying, then raising tens of thousands of dollars with a scavenger hunt in downtown Idaho Falls is the icing on the cake.

The College of Eastern Idaho Foundation held its 12th annual ‘Great Race for Education’ last Friday. The event is a scavenger hunt/race event where businesses sponsor teams to help raise money that will go to scholarships for students in the next year.

Dave Facer, Executive Director of the foundation, says part of the fun is seeing the community come together to have fun for a good cause. “We’re just so thrilled that people have have been interested enough in supporting us,” he told “They’re supporting our students and they care enough to help people with education.”

Each team includes up to four runners that race through a designated area map. There are also multiple “clue solvers” that stay at the home base trying to solve and decipher clues to give to the runners. The teams pay for the amount of people they want participating, which allows them to collect money for the event.

Teri TeNgaio was on a team sponsored by Intermountain Gas this year. She says she is always excited for the event. “The number one benefit is the scholarship money. We’re going to be able to change … many people’s lives,” she explained. “People participate year after year because they know how fun it is and they know the benefit that comes from raising this kind of money.”

The winning team gets bragging rights and a trophy, along with a chance to have the top scholarships given in their name. Ball Ventures won first place this year, with Mountain View Hospital taking second place and Teton Toyota placing third. This means the foundation will award a $1,500 Ball venture scholarship, a $1,000 Mountain View scholarship, and a $750 Teton Toyota scholarship. Many other “Great Race” scholarships will be awarded throughout the year as well.

After not being able to run the race last year due to COVID-19 restrictions, the team at College of Eastern Idaho and the foundation were ready to bring this back to the community and are thrilled to keep it going for the future.

Organizers want businesses to know that they can already start thinking about their team for next year. “It’s never too early to get on the list if you want to get involved,” Facer said. Businesses who are interested can contact the CEI Foundation to get involved.