Calypso Volunteers at the 7th Annual Barber Beast on the Bay

The Barber Beast on the Bay is a ten-mile obstacle course race and one of Erie’s most highly anticipated fundraisers. Every summer, people rally to the shores of Lake Erie to raise money for the Barber National Institute, a nonprofit that provides behavioral health and intellectual disabilities services to children and adults in Pennsylvania.

Competitors run, jump, climb, and crawl through more than 30 obstacles set up along Presque Isle State Park in support of the individuals who face their own obstacles every day. An adapted, one-mile course is also available for those ages 12 and up with disabilities.

On Saturday, nearly 1,500 participants gathered bright and early to compete, cheer, and volunteer at Barber Beast on the Bay. Among the integral group of volunteers that day was Team Calypso. 

We arrived at 6:30 a.m. to check in and meet with our volunteer captain, who tasked us with directing the flow of traffic in the parking lots of the event. Because we were the first point of contact for people, we also helped guide them to where they needed to be. We received warm smiles and thanks from Beast-goers acknowledging our volunteer efforts.

Throughout the day, we watched as groups clad in team colors and T-shirts convened and made their way to registration. EMTA shuttles came in waves all morning, dropping teams off at the start of the 10-mile Beast and returning to the parking lot to pick up more. In the distance, we could see and hear participants from both courses crossing the finish line together.

The adrenaline and team spirit in the air was palpable. It was energizing to see the eager and smiling faces of every competitor, supporter, and volunteer. It was inspiring to witness people overcome strenuous challenges and terrains in support of such a great cause. 

Volunteering at the Barber Beast on the Bay was an opportunity for us to connect with others working toward a common goal. We are proud to serve our community. At the end of each day, our mission is to make a difference in the lives of people around us through compassion, innovation, and excellence. 

To learn more about the ways Calypso is helping to make a positive impact, click here.

Image by R. Frank Photography via