This weekend offers the opportunity for those across the area to help out a community-wide organization and have a blast in the process.

The Arc North Florida’s 21st annual lawn mower race — which will be held Saturday morning at John’s Lawn Equipment in Live Oak — is fun for all. Those competing certainly are enjoying the opportunity and the race is a sight to see for the spectators.

Best of all, though, is the race raises funds for a worthwhile organization. The Arc, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, provides services for disabled individuals as well as advocates on their behalf.

The programs The Arc provides those individuals are designed to help them train to become as independent as possible as well as become full participants in the community.

The Arc provides those services to individuals diagnosed with Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, Prader-Willi Syndrome and Autism.

And while The Arc — and its clients — are the real winners Saturday, once the races begin, the competitive nature of the participants kicks in and makes for an enjoyable experience for those watching.

The pit stops offer fun challenges — last year’s included having to attach nuts and washers to a bolt while wearing lineman’s gloves, wrapping up a roll of quarters, drawing a house, making a paper clip chain and hammering a nail into a block of wood.

They also provide a chance for some of that competitiveness to show through.

Racers will try to block other teams’ mowers. They also may turn off the mower in an attempt to prevent a team from trying to just swap mowers.

The competitiveness has also led to some past participants issuing challenges to others on The Arc North Florida’s Facebook page.

Count us in with Suwannee County Sheriff Sam St. John, Live Oak Police Chief Buddy Williams and Andrew Poole from the Suwannee County Tax Collector’s Office in encouraging other businesses, organizations or even individuals in taking part in the fun.

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